Valerie Banfield 

Author and Basket Weaver

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While you're visiting, I invite you to take a gander at an INTERVIEW WITH PERCY BIGLER, the homespun country boy who is at the heart of Wish Me Home West Virginia. CLICK HERE.


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Making Up Time

May 1920. When best friends Emmett Sterling and Archie Jackson set their sights on the same female, the outcome is as prickly and contentious as the action taking place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway bricks. In race-speak, one beau finds himself an Also-Ran, a Did Not Finish participant who sputters to a standstill while his opponent races toward the checkered flag.

 

One contender’s rigid personality might leave him susceptible to disaster, but his rival uncovers some faulty steering that could prevent him from carrying his bride across the finish line. Add another dame to the mix while the leader limps around the track, and spark plugs fly.

 

As Emmett and Archie aim for the prize, their personal defects and vulnerabilities prove to be as perilous and costly as the risks taken by the racetrack daredevils who chase their dreams.


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“Valerie Banfield has cleverly woven and captured the spirit of the

Charleston Ballet’s early history in her book Wish Me Joy West Virginia!”

—Kim R. Pauley, Artistic Director and CEO, the Charleston Ballet


1955. Fern Bigler has weathered storms and suffered loss, but the air hovering above her beloved hills and hollows carries an unmistakable warning, something akin to the hair-raising static that ushers in a lightning strike. When the former danseur étoile—star dancer—of the Royal Opera of Brussels sets off a spark that threatens to consume her family, Fern is determined to extinguish the fire. But, what if the flame resides in her daughter’s heart?

 

Leland Dugan’s good intentions don’t amount to much, not when one blunder or unavoidable crisis follows another. His wife’s spirit seems to gravitate toward empty. Empty arms, abandoned dreams, aimless days. Although Muriel chose to live in Elizabeth, West Virginia, for better or for worse, it’s plain to see she’s itching for more. Just once, Leland would like a taste of joy in the morning, a promise so precious but beyond his reach.


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“From the moment I set foot in Bigler’s General Store, I felt like I was home.

Valerie Banfield paints the hills and the people from them with gentle grace.

I can hear the whippoorwill and feel the breeze through the sycamores.

As they say from my neck of the woods, ‘You done good.’”

 — Chris Fabry, Author of the Dogwood series


July 1933. Percy Bigler is a contented, homespun boy from the hills and hollows of Elizabeth, West Virginia, but as the Great Depression lingers, necessity leads him to enroll in the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC’s projects require an army of hard-working laborers, and Percy doesn’t shy from hazardous duties, but he finds himself in unfamiliar territory more than two thousand miles from home where egos, innuendos, and a particularly stubborn female test his determination to provide for his family.

 

Percy dodges pitfalls, battles to protect his heart, and suffers an acute case of homesickness while everything he loves in West Virginia begins to fray. He wants to heed his father’s wise words, “When life gets tough, do likewise,” but it’s hardly that simple. Duty tells him to stay the course. His heart calls him home. Either choice wields an immeasurable and irretrievable loss.


Click Here to enjoy an interview with Percy Bigler. You’ll discover he’s not just a right nice fellow, he’s also rather charming.


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“No collection of historical fiction is complete without this Korean War-era gem

by Cascade Award-winning author, Valerie Banfield.”

—Lisa Grace, author of The 15th Star


May 1950, Appalach1a. DALE JENNINGS’ future is made in the shade. He’s just months away from earning his college degree, and a promising career as a linguist will set his life on a grand course. He’s smart, he’s enthusiastic, and even better . . . he’s got a girl who sets his heart aflutter. If he could get her to buy into his potential, he’d be in Fat City.

 

CARLA LOVELESS’ dream hit a sour note when her father failed to return from his World War II assignment. When the post-war era ushers in prosperity, it sidesteps the Loveless household. Yet . . . try as she might to accept her downgraded situation, Carla can’t squelch the rhythm and the melody that nourish her soul.

 

Carla savors the informal, jazzy duets that characterize the stolen hours she spends with Dale. She thrives on his attention and affections, but he’s a smooth-talking college boy. Better to beware than to contemplate his unreal world.

 

The invasion of South Korea by its northern neighbor earns some headlines, but like everyone else, Dale disregards the event. It’s no big deal. Carla’s mother, shrew that she is, harbors the greater threat to Dale’s picture-perfect plans. He’ll figure it out. It’ll be copacetic. Everything will be swell.
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WHAT’S A LITTLE SHORTCUT . . .

                                               WHEN IT LEADS TO A PRIZE . . .

                                                                                             THAT PROMISES SO MUCH MORE THAN THE RISK?

 

The path to position, prestige, and the perfect mate looms in the distant future, but Audrey Taylor has the prerequisite moxie and cravings to secure her trophies now. Tucked away in her arsenal is an array of persuasive attributes, any of which may prove effective in her quest.

 

JoDee Remington swears it’s not an addiction; it’s entertainment with an upside. After the downside catches up with her, she promises to quit. When she discovers another game that delivers the same thrill, she sidesteps the vow she made to her husband and schemes for the means to skirt discovery.

 

Audrey scores massive victories as she employs her strategies, but when her beau uncovers her methods, she falters. JoDee, faced with a staggering incident, devises a plot in self-preservation that promises an “all or nothing” outcome. It’s about risk and reward . . . isn’t it?

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“Banfield takes us on a journey with Zach Hoyt who is Caucasian; his wife, Juanita, who is

American Indian; Stan Benton, who is African American, and a diverse cast of secondary characters.

I would have loved this book alone for that reason, but Ms. Banfield added another element: Juanita is deaf, a condition that ties the stories together. I also loved the faith element found in this realistic and captivating book.”

—Toni Shiloh, author of the Maple Run and Freedom Lake series


Maybe Zach Hoyt’s expectations were overly optimistic; the business he inherited from his father wasn’t exactly booming. He might also concede that he was a tad naïve to imagine that his past would remain buried, along with his sullied reputation.


Juanita Hoyt wants a do-over. She shouldn’t have yielded to her husband’s unrelenting pleas to move to this ghastly community. Now Zach has hatched a harebrained scheme to save the business and, once again, he hasn’t heeded her objections.

 

Stan Benton collects trouble like a magnet picks up stray nails, and he reaps disorder as often as he dispenses justice. Every little thing fuels his bitterness and his anger—dangerous traits for an officer of the law.

 

When hoodlums set out to overturn the good intentions of the neighborhood watch, why do they heap their efforts at Zach’s feet? Why him? And why does Stan get stuck babysitting the community where his notoriety makes him about as welcome as the hooligans he’s charged to deter? Is anyone in control here?

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“The presentation of the Costa Rican involvement in WWII was fascinating. It’s a new perspective

that I suspect few people have and it deserves a wider audience. This is a book I will

recommend to those who love historical fiction, especially WWII enthusiasts.”

—Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times and CBA bestselling author

 

“Banfield accomplished the difficult task of finding a little-known fact of history and

bringing it to life. Well done! She carefully, successfully, balanced two stories

and made them work—alone and together.”

—Kay Marshall Strom, author and speaker


Spring 1940. Muy Bella, Costa Rica

 

SAVANNAH HAMILTON isn’t looking for love—she’s watched that commodity vanish too many times to care—but she’s frantic for a mate. As the deadline approaches, things look hopeless. Then he shows up.

 

MICAH KELLER isn’t too keen to learn that the predicament described by the prospective bride held more illusion than fact. Nothing at Misión de Cacao resembles his expectations—especially her.

 

While two imperfect people make a go of an unlikely pairing, war erupts. With the speed and intensity of an epidemic, fear and distrust ignite the globe. Costa Rica is not immune, and when it’s time for countries to name their allies, Micah and Savannah find themselves in the path of an unimaginable firestorm. As distance and time render their tenuous relationship unrecognizable, is the promise to honor their hasty commitment far too costly, or will love abide all things?

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The rock star.

Before Nate Fowler fled from the spotlight, his fans saw the soul of an honorable man. It’s been three years. Where did he go? Does he really think he can make a comeback without spilling his secret?

 

The writer.

Samantha Hill is desperate to get the scoop. But what makes her think she has any hope of interviewing the reclusive musician? After all, she’s been hiding too.

 

When Sammi imposes herself on her target, she ventures far enough to glimpse Nate’s burdens: he’s human; he’s vulnerable. And she’s temptation.

 

If Sammi wants to pen a story, she has to expose her past and unmask her heart. As long as yesterday’s shadows overpower the present, how can either Sammi or Nate hope to begin anew? 

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DECEMBER 1895, near the shoals of Nantucket.

When an urgent need trumps a perilous passage, the fare is costlier than anyone imagined.

 

Crew member Thomas Burton, stationed aboard the lightship Nautican, is no stranger to risk and loss. In the aftermath of a shipwreck, he plucks survivors from the wintry Atlantic waters, only to have them turn his world upside down. When calamity and evil follow the victims ashore, what’s the man to do?


PRESENT DAY, departing Phoenix.

When a relocation annihilates plans and promises, and jeopardizes the future, all that remains is his faith.

 

Dustin Turner braces himself for a miserable senior year at Heritage High, where the social misfit faces affluent teens who own heavy doses of attitude. When he realizes the student body is blind to the lies and deception loitering in the hallways, will Dustin shrink into the shadows or will he take a stand?

When the tempest roars, where lies the safest course? 

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Sixteen-year-old Luke Samuels wants to leave his nightmares behind and start a new life. He plans to flee during a teen retreat held at a church campground.


Andy Wooten already left his past behind. To help develop his new reputation, he volunteers to be a camp counselor for the retreat. When Luke goes missing, Andy joins the search.


In the midst of a wicked storm, Luke encounters three bank robbers and their hostage. Someone has to forfeit his carefully planned future. How far will each go to take what they want?



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Brian Mowery stakes the reputation of Ten-Tenth’s Top Gear on a perfect manufacturing process. Race car drivers stake their lives on his reputation. When a series of mishaps, innuendos, and allegations wander through his shop’s front door, Brian has to act before the incidents wreak havoc on his good name.


Six-year-old Mia Nelville sweet-talks her parents into giving her a trial run as a quarter midget race car driver. Her racing career promises to run full-tilt—as long as Uncle Brian’s headaches don’t upend his commitment to be her pit boss. 


When complications multiply, the man known for gifting second chances finds himself in need of redemption. As Mia witnesses Uncle Brian’s attempts to fix his shattered world, she wonders if his future is destined for the dreaded black flag, or if his choices will earn him the victory lap.

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“Banfield’s unique and different voice allows the reader some oohs and ahs throughout her writing. Her book includes suspense and romance, and is storytelling in its truest form.”

—Linda K. Rodante, author of the Dangerous series


He’s everything she ever wanted; she’ll do whatever it takes to keep him. But when her masquerade unravels, is she willing to pay the price of her deception?


When Diane Cooper, invites her best friend, Gina Brandt, to her Venezuelan wedding, little does Gina know that her maid of honor duties include duping the groom. Diane’s timing couldn’t be worse.


Gina celebrates the close of a miserable chapter in her life and the onset of what promises to be a better narrative, but in the midst of Diane’s sham, Gina struggles to safeguard her integrity and newfound faith.


When a chunk of Diane’s veneer crumbles, she attempts to cover her dishonest steps and unwittingly exposes a series of betrayals and deceit, perpetrated decades earlier by a ruthless pretender. With his misdeeds exposed, will blackmail sooth the vindictive deceiver’s hunger, or will he resort to something more ominous and deadly to silence his accusers?

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When Alzheimer’s hijacked her father, Disorder upended Connie’s world. When a stranger uses her as a pawn, danger lurks and chaos simmers.


Evan Nichols has the evidence; an unsavory pair wants it back. If he’s caught? He hasn’t much at stake. He’s already lost his wife and kissed his home goodbye. He drives a disintegrating rattletrap; his business is on life support.


Since the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, confusion and turmoil override Connie Thompkins’ routine life as a CPA and part-time basket weaver. When Evan’s misdeeds spiral into Connie’s realm, his antics challenge her faith and steal her contentment.


The immediate distaste they hold for each other leaves them flailing in a tangled web of distrust and discord. He needs a willing accomplice. She wants the sneaky interloper to right his life’s ambitions and choose an honorable path. They can’t undo the past. Can they salvage their futures?

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