Valentine, Nebraska

My book for Summerside is a contemporary romance (with an element of suspense), which takes place in Valentine, Nebraska.  My husband is a native of Nebraska, and we’ve averaged making yearly visits to the state to visit his relatives since he moved to West Virginia several years ago. The setting is Cherry County in the Sandhills area of the state.  My heroine is the wealthy owner of a ranch in the region and the hero the ranch manager without any funds.  Now don’t yawn and say “ho-hum,” because you’ve read many similar plots. You’ll learn that Love Finds you in Valentine, Nebraska, is not the usual run-of-the-mill western.


My husband and I had previously traveled in the Valentine area when I’d researched for another book in the Sandhills, published, 2003. When writing this current book, I contacted the Valentine Chamber of Commerce for some up-to-date information, but I hadn’t intended to do any onsite research for the book. I was in the final stages of editing the manuscript when, unfortunately, our sister-in-law in central Nebraska died in early April. 


We went to the funeral and allowed for two extra days between flights to go to Valentine. We stayed in the Holiday Inn where a wedding scene takes place in my book. We walked along the sidewalks of Valentine, which had many, many red hearts painted on the pavement. We shopped in the stores and ate in memorable restaurants. On Wednesday night, we went to mid-week Bible study at the Baptist Church, where we met some lovely people and were fed on the Word. I got a better “feel” for the character of Valentine and added several scenes to the manuscript before I submitted it recently.


Our departure from Valentine was delayed for a day when a blizzard struck the Sandhills.  In order to catch our plane, we had a 250 mile drive to the airport in Lincoln, Nebraska.  It took eight hours for us to make the journey, and during the first fifty miles or so, there were periods of white-out when we couldn’t even see the road. It was a tense journey, but I claimed a promise from Psalm 91, “If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord, who is my refuge—then no harm will fall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”


And I want to witness to how God cares for us. We always rent a compact car when we’re traveling, but the agency didn’t have one like we wanted. We upgraded to a new Dodge Nitro. This vehicle had 4-wheel drive, without which we could never have made the return trip safely. So five days before the blizzard struck Nebraska, God knew that we would need a sturdy car to make that trip safely, and he provided one for us.


We serve a great God, and I appreciate another opportunity to proclaim that truth through the written word.




12 Responses to Valentine, Nebraska

  1. That was an awesome testimony to God’s love and protection over his children. Thank you for sharing and I’m looking forward to reading your book. It sounds great! Miralee

  2. Irene, this sounds wonderful. I love the name of the town and I didn’t know they had one called Valentine. That trip was scary but with the Lord beside you you can do anything.


  3. Irene Brand says:

    Thanks for visiting our new site. The authors and editors are excited about this new line of romances, which will join a large number of other Christian fiction books now being published. When I first started writing, it was almost impossible to interest a CBA publisher in our work. But thankfully, those of us who pioneered in the field persevered and proved that our works were worthy of publication. I’m happy to say that many of those early authors are still in the ranks today.

    Truly, God has blessed all of us to be a part of the movement when Christian fiction is among the fastest growing genres today – at least I’ve heard this from reliable sources.

    God is good, and I’m thankful He led me in this direction.

    Irene Brand

  4. Irene,
    I’m so glad to see you here! Valentine sounds like a perfect place and one I can’t wait to “visit” through your wonderful books.

    And thanks for sharing the Lord’s guidance and protection with all of us. He truly is an awesome God, as you have often testified.


  5. Irene Brand says:

    Thanks for checking out our new blog. We’re trying to get the word out that our books will soon be available. The first 4 books featured on the site so far give a variety of reading that will reach a wide group of readers. It’s exciting to be part of this adventure in publishing.

    Irene Brand

  6. Marsha says:


    Thank you for sharing your testimony regarding your journey to Valentine, Nebraska and especially for sharing the verse Psalm 91 that you claimed when danger was eminent, “If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord, who is my refuge—then no harm will fall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

    The scripture spoke to me even though I am not driving through a snow storm. I am walking through a personal trial and there are many days that it feels like a “white out” and I cannot see my way. Your testimony encouraged me that God has been before me preparing the way and He has also given me a “sturdy vehicle” that will enable me to make this difficult journey unharmed.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  7. Irene Brand says:

    I’m thankful that our experience in the blizzard was an encouragement to you. Although, when compared to many others whom I know, my life hasn’t been very traumatic; however, we all have our ups and downs. I’ve learned that we can never get so far from our Heavenly Father that He doesn’t see, know and care about the problems we have.

    This is one of the main goals I hope to achieve through my Christian fiction – to let my readers know that God is able during any situation that looks too difficult for us. While we may not see the end of the matter, He does.

    In my Summerside December book, both my hero and heroine face near-tragic circumstances. During the scope of the book, they learn to rely on God more fully and their Christian faith matures. When they reach the end of their human endurance and trust their problems to God, He takes over. Sometimes, it’s difficult for us to let go.

    I pray that God will continue to sustain you through the difficulties you’re facing right now.

  8. Debby Mayne says:

    I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, Irene! Congratulations on being on the ground floor of such a fun concept!

  9. Irene Brand says:

    Thanks for checking in on our blog site.

    It’s always so rewarding to hear from a reader, whom I’ve never met, but one who already knows me through the books I’ve written. My personality and values comes through on the printed page. Readers often comment on my use of the Scriptures in my books (most like this, some don’t), but the Bible is the lodestar, not only of my writing, but of my daily life.

    I consider it a privilege to have been chosen to help launch the Summerside Press publications. I’m optimistic and eager to see where the Lord will lead all of us as we put these new books in the hands of readers. God’s blessings upon you today.

  10. Loree Lough says:

    Anybody who hasn’t read one of Irene’s books is in for a real treat! This is an author who blends a gentle mix of all the great fiction elements into her stories. I’m so pleased, proud, and honored that my name appears on yet another list bearing this great lady’s works.

    So what are y’all doing, still perusing this comment? Get to your nearest book store and ask for an Irene Brand novel! And once you’ve brought it home, find a cozy corner where you can curl up with a tall glass of refreshing iced lemonade to enjoy the summer…and a fictional escape that’ll make it tough to get back to The Real World!

    All my best,

  11. Irene Brand says:

    Well! How can I respond to Loree’s accolade?

    I appreciate her affirmation, but to be truthful, I’m not sure I deserve it. However, since she’s mentioned my books, I should tell you that they’re not always easy to find in bookstores. Steeple Hill books only stay in stores for one month, and my Barbour books are mostly bookclub issues. As are the Steeple Hill books, and this insures a lot of sales, but they aren’t always available in other markets.

    For the past 10 years or so, I’ve only published with Steeple Hill and Barbour. My earlier books, as well as the most recent ones are available online. Amazon has most of them, as does other publishers. I’ve found that (a subsidiary of EBay)has the most economical way to order books. My books are all listed on my website My Summerside book isn’t on the website, but I hope to take care of that next week.

    God bless all of you today.

    Do you realize, Sisters, that our books are going to be handled through CBA markets, as well as in Mall bookstores and top stores like that? We’re in the BIG TIME – with Beverly Lewis, Susan May Warren, Angela Hunt and others, whose books are available in many markets. We’re blessed!

  12. wood floor says:

    wood floor…

    […]Valentine, Nebraska « Summerside Press[…]…

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