Tag Archives: clarizio

Snowmobiling in the U.P.

I took a break from writing the past few days to spend a little time with the hubby on the awesome snowmobile trails in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Even in the 5 degree temperature we still had a several pleasurable rides, and this was the first time in many years we were able to take advantage of the early snow conditions.  The woods couldn’t have been more beautiful.  Here’s a peek at what we saw over the past couple of days:

Snowmobiling 150102bSnowmobiling 150102Snowmobiling 150102c

Wishing all snowmobilers safe travels!


Meet my Characters Blog Hop – Meet Nick Spinelli from “Covert Exposure and Craving Vengeance.”

Hi everyone! I was invited to participate in this blog hop by the talented Aubrey Wynne. You can read her post here http://aubreywynneauthor.com/2014/09/01/meet-my-characters-blog-hopmeet-rolf-from-rolfs-quest/

First, a bit of info about Aubrey Wynne

author promo pic

Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. She is a proud member of the Coffee Talk Writers. Her debut story, Merry Christmas, Henry, was published in November 2013 by Melange Books, LLC and received Best Short Romance in the Editors and Predators Reader’s Choice of 2013. Her humorous shorts, Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies (Top 100 Laugh Out Loud List on Goodreads) and To Cast A Cliché are published with AlfieFiction.com

Here’s Aubrey’s Links: 

Website URL: http://aubreywynneauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter (Full URL or Handle): https://twitter.com/Aubreywynne51

Facebook (URL): https://www.facebook.com/aubrey.wynne.7

Goodreads (URL): https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17695894-aubrey-wynne

Pinterest (URL): http://www.pinterest.com/aubreywynne51/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AubreyWynne

Thanks, Aubrey, for the invitation!

Now, I’m supposed to choose one character from a work-in-progress or a recently published book and answer seven easy questions. Here goes!

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Detective Nick Spinelli is the main character in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series. I just have to say…to me, Spinelli is as real as they come, but I’ve been told he is fictional.

When and where is the story set?

The Nick Spinelli Romance Mystery series is set in the current day.

The first two books in the series, Covert Exposure and Craving Vengeance, are set in Milwaukee. The third book in the series, Crazed Reckoning, is set in Door County, Wisconsin, and is scheduled for release in early 2015. 

What should we know about him/her?

Spinelli is tough as nails on the outside, but a big softie on the inside.  You’ll never hear him say it though. Actually, he’s in complete denial about being a softie. 

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The beautiful Shannon O’Hara messes up Spinelli’s life pretty good. She doesn’t mean to but she does. Her co-workers, ex-lovers, and old family acquaintances do nothing but get in the way. 

What is the personal goal of the character?

Spinelli’s number one goal is to keep Shannon alive! Yep, you heard me correctly, Spinelli spends much of his time just trying to keep his new love interest out of harms way. 

Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

The third book in the series is titled Crazed Reckoning, a Nick Spinelli Mystery and is scheduled for release by Melange Books, LLC in early 2015.  I hope to post some teasers on my website in the near future.

You can find the first two books in the Nick Spinelli series here:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=valerie%20clarizio&sprefix=valer%2Caps

Melange Books, LLC: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/valeriejclarizio/index.html

Now, who are you going to hear from next week…….

The Awesome Shelley Pickens is on deck!

Shelley is the author of The Haunting of Secrets

Author Pic

Shelley Pickens is a Spanish teacher by day and a novelist by night. She’s been in love with everything paranormal since she can remember.  After years of teaching high school students, she decided to take her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and fantasy.  When not teaching or writing, Shelley likes to spend time with her husband and two beautiful children in Atlanta, Ga.  Her escape from reality is her love of complex thriller and science fiction TV series like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow.  In her spare time she is an avid watcher of little league baseball.  THE HAUNTING OF SECRETS is her debut novel.

Here’s Shelley’s links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Haunting-Secrets-Shelley-R-Pickens-ebook/dp/B00M2E3IVK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410132840&sr=8-1&keywords=shelley+pickens

Melange Books / Fire and Ice Imprint: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/shelleyrpickens/index.html

Website/Blog: http://shelleypickens.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/shelleypickensauthor

Twitter:  @shelleypickens


Guest Post & Giveaway by Author Aubrey Wynne

The Short And The Long Of It – By Aubrey Wynne

Some people prefer short stories: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, or The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain.

Others enjoy getting to know the characters and settling in for a long read: The Call of The Wild by Jack London, Sophie’s Choice By William Styron, The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington or Animal Farm by George Orwell.

I consider any of these good literary choices. Whether I choose short or long for my reading pleasure depends on my time, focus and mood. A long weekend dictates a book I can sink my teeth into and enjoy the intricacies of a plot and subplots. I get involved with main characters and a secondary cast.  If I have an afternoon free, I hate to start a novel and leave in the middle for a week or two. So I choose a short story.

So what is the difference when writing? Which is more difficult for the author? Style often dictates what an author writes. I also think the story itself often decides the length. Some stories are a glimpse into a slice of the character’s life. Others may be detailed accounts that need to be slowly digested and savored. But the styles for each are different.

A novel needs background, detail, and often spans a period of time. Here the author needs to set the tone, give us necessary previous knowledge and include subplots and secondary characters. A short story gets straight to the point, involves fewer characters and usually has only one storyline. The luxury of spending a page describing the valley below does not exist for the short story writer. Each word counts.

If a writer hates to ‘cut his babies’, novels create the perfect vehicle. If you enjoy describing each character’s clothing each time they enter a room or providing an intricate description of the mansion on the hill, by all means pursue the novel. Short story and novella authors usually concentrate on a single plot, add some description and action then wrap it up. This does not mean that characters are not developed or the plot is simple and never complicated: the more intricacies and in-depth the short story, the more talented the author.

So what is your preference as a reader and writer? Short or long? Detailed or to the point?

PRIZE – One random commenter will receive their choice of one my shorts posted below.

Cliche promo covercopy

Blurb and Links for To Cast A Cliché: 

The evil Queen Lucinda exacts revenge on a royal poet by casting a spell of never-ending clichés upon the kingdom. Will the clever King Richard thwart his stepmother’s magic and save the good people of Maxim? Test your literary knowledge and enjoy an entertaining spoof on fairytales.

Alfie Dog Fiction: http://alfiedog.com/products-page/aubrey-wynne/to-cast-a-cliche-aubrey-wynne-2700-words-fairytale/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22666679-to-cast-a-cliché

Petes promo cover

Blurb and Links for Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies: 

Pete McNutt, a privy salesman, needs customers for his new business. Spring has arrived and it’s prime time Privy Season. After much consideration, he refines his sales pitch, takes courage in hand and heads to the monthly meeting of the Women’s Library Association.

Alfie Dog Fiction: http://alfiedog.com/products-page/aubrey-wynne/petes-mighty-purty-privies-aubrey-wynne-2000-words-humour-historical/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21798744-pete-s-mighty-purty-privies

Henry small promo cover

Blurb and Links for Merry Christmas, Henry: 

Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

Melange Books, LLC: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/aubreywynne/merryxmashenry.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GHWQHYS

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Merry-Christmas-Henry-Aubrey-Wynne-ebook/dp/B00GHWQHYS

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/merry-christmas-henry-aubrey-wynne/1117352015?ean=2940045373494

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18781435-merry-christmas-henry

 About the Author

Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. Her debut story, Merry Christmas, Henry, was published in November 2013 by Melange Books, LLC and received Best Short Romance in the Editors and Predators Reader’s Choice of 2013. Her humorous shorts, Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies and To Cast A Cliché are published with AlfieFiction.com

author promo pic

Hook up with Aubrey










Welcome to the Celebrate Romance Giveaway Blog Hop!


Who’s my Favorite Romance Character, you ask?  Rhett Butler!!!

Think about it, Rhett has it all, good looks, charm, charisma, and money. I think he could woo the panties off any red-blooded female. Who am I kidding? I bet he could woo the panties off any female whether she’s human, alien, dead, undead, you name it; he could have it. After all, he did woo the corset and panties off the toughest southern bell known to man, the ever famous Scarlet O’Hara. Though she was tough-as-nails, she still wasn’t able to fight off the master-charmer.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite scene’s from Gone With the Wind. What I’d give to be Scarlet in this scene…and have Rhett follow through.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nACj50uq6_s

Here’s a little something go get you motivated.  I picture Nick Spinelli, the main character from my romance mystery series, and my modern-day Rhett Butler, looking a little something like this.


Now, for a chance to win an ebook copy of Covert Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery, comment below and let us know your favorite romance character. Winner will be picked by random.org following the close of the blog hop.

For a chance to win other great prizes visit the other participating blog hosts. You can find them by clicking on the “click here” link below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

The Writing Process: What is the Secret?

My Writing Process

This particular blog hop is all about authors offering others a glimpse into their work, their work schedules, and perhaps their innermost thoughts. Some of us are quite opposite our real life personas.

So who subjected you to this arduous journey through the innermost working of my mind?  The very talented romance author, Aubrey Wynne.  Though Aubrey’s story, featured below, is a holiday story its uniqueness makes it a great read for any time of the year.

Author of:

Aubrey Wynne

Click here to find out how she does it!


Q. What am I working on?

I am currently finishing up the third book in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series, Crazed Reckoning which is scheduled for release by Melange Books in early 2015. Each book in the series revolves around a holiday.  The first book in the series, Covert Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery is set during Christmas and Detective Spinelli is forced to go undercover as Santa Claus to catch a killer.  The second book in the series, Craving Vengeance, a Nick Spinelli Mystery takes place on Valentine’s Day and poor Detective Spinelli finds himself playing the role as a singing cupid as he hunts down a killer.  This brings me back to the third book in the series.  I know by now you know which holiday is next on the docket.  Hint:  Think green!


Additionally, I have two releases scheduled for this spring so I’m in the midst of edits for Taken by Surprise, a contemporary romance novel with suspense elements, and Unforeseen Obsessions, a romantic suspense novel.  Both of these novels will be released by Whiskey Creek Press.

Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Though the Nick Spinelli series has the suspense components to keep you guessing and on the edge about what is going to happen next, I’ve inserted some quirkiness and humor to keep things realistic in regard to everyday life and human behavior.


Q. Why do I write what I do?

At some point, during my adult life I began reading for pleasure, and the two types of books I couldn’t seem to put down were quirky, humorous romances, and thrillers, but not the real gory ones.  Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to mix the aforementioned together to see what kind of peculiar little fictional world I could create.  Once I started writing, I realized just how therapeutic writing was for me.  After a long eight hours at the day job, I can’t wait to get home and start pecking away on the keyboard, and relax and enjoy the little fantasy world my characters whisk me away to for the evening.

Q. How does your writing process work?

I start with a lot of thinking, then some more thinking, and when that turns up nothing, I pay my local Police Department a visit to find out what kind of crazy stuff has gone on in our little City recently (my day job is at City Hall).  I get a few ideas from the PD but because our City is safe and secure – Thank goodness – I’ve had to learn to embellish quite a bit on our drab little hometown events.  Fast speed ahead, once I get the main plot worked out in my head I start typing, and before I know it my characters are telling me how it’s going to be.  Though they usually let me pick the beginning and the end of the story, the middle is theirs.

Q. Who will we meet next week?

First I’d like to recognize author Mary Hughes.  Mary is a lovely lady who I met early in my publishing life.  She writes RED HOT paranormal books that you just can’t put down.  Mary is celebrating a new release week this week for the book pictured below.  Downbeat is the 7th book in her Biting Love Series.




Next I’d like to recognize Tory Richards.  Not all that long ago I stumbled across Tory’s books.  Just take a look at her sassy sexy covers.  If you like Romance with an Attitude, you’ll want to check these out!  Happy Birthday Baby is scheduled for release in March.  Tory Richards is a multi-published author whose books have received some awesome reviews.

Tory Richards HBBTory Richards BA

Buy Links: Clicking on any of the above covers will bring you directly to the buy links.

Blog Hopping Schedule

I’m doing a little blog hopping during the months of October, November and December to celebrate my recent releases in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series!  Some of the visits include ebook giveaways!


I will be visiting the following Blogs:

10/21/13 – Night Owls (there’s a chance to win an ebook through November 8th) – http://romance.nightowlreviews.com/v5

10/28/13 – Highlighted Author – http://highlightedauthor.com/

10/30/13 – Terri Rochenski – http://terrirochenski.blogspot.com/

10/31/13 – Sharon Buchbinder – http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/

11/1/13 – Coffee Time Romance Author Interview! http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews.html#.Um0t-1Uo5jo


12/3/13 – Rachel Cron – http://rachelcronauthor.blogspot.com/

12/4/13 – Dawn Roberto- http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/?zx=2e318c6a853a9778

December 2013 – Penny Ehrenkranz – http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

December 2013 – Melissa Snark – 25 Days ofChristmas – http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/?zx=41d55dda3bdec263

StoryFinds Theme Week – Christmas In July

My romantic suspense novella, Cookies for Santa, is being featured on StoryFinds as part of their Christmas in July Theme Week promotion. Please stop by and check it out if you have a moment. Take a look at the excerpt that has been posted to the StoryFinds website and post a comment below, by midnight tonight, for a chance to win a PDF copy of Cookies for Santa.

StoryFinds Theme week link to Cookies for Santa: http://storyfinds.com/section/themed_week

StoryFinds link to my author page on their website:
Valerie J. Clarizio on StoryFinds

Buy Link:
Cookies for Santa is on sale right now at Coffee Time Romance for $0.99 – They are celebrating Christmas in July as well!

Blog Visit

I’m visiting Rachel Brimble’s lovely blog today. We’re talking about Cookies for Santa (novella #1 in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series). You’ll get a sneak peek at the blurb for Craving Vengeance, A Nick Spinelli Mystery (novella #2 in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series) which is due for release by Melange Books in fall.

Additionally, you’ll be the first to see my exciting announcement in regard to my new contracts with Whiskey Creek Press for two novels, Unforeseen Obsessions and Taken by Surprise.

But wait, there’s more, I also talk briefly about a couple of items I have in the works; the third novella in the Nick Spinelli Mystery series, and Plan Interrupted, a contemporary romance in which I’m currently seeking agent representation.

Fictional Character Crush

Does this ever happen to you when you’re writing your books?


I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it but it happens to me all the time.  But think about it…we tend to write about the most perfectly flawed characters we dare to imagine. 

As long as I’m confessing…I’m not monogamous.  There, I said it.  I switch my love interest with each new book I write.

Authors, take a minute to tell us whether or not you develop fictional character crushes when you write.  If so, tell us who you are in love with now, which of your books he/she is from, and give us a short book blurb and link to buy.

Readers, tell us about a fictional character who turns you on!


Workstation Ergonomics Tips

In April I posted ideas in regard to Deskercising your way to writing productivity.  Today we’ll talk about complimenting Deskercising with workstation ergonomics.  As authors, we tend to ground ourselves to our workstations; working frantically to meet deadlines and/or word-count goals.  That said, I’d like to share a few tips I’ve read about recently in regard to proper workstation ergonomics.  These tips should not only help to contribute to your productivity, but contribute to your health as well.

Think of your workstation in terms of zones:

The You Zone:  Posture in your chair is extremely important.  Make sure your chair is adjusted so that your feet are placed flat on the floor, your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and your arms lie flat on your desk.  Additionally, adjust your backrest so that it always provides support to the curve of your lower back.


This is Sammie’s “You Zone.” She doesn’t quite grasp the 90-degree angle thing.

The Primary Use Zone:  Identify this zone by sitting in your workstation chair and reaching your arms out in front of you and to the sides.  This reachable space should house your frequently used supplies and current task items.  Your monitor should be placed 18-24 inches away from you and at eye level.  To avoid pain and tension on your arms and neck, make sure that when using your keyboard and mouse your upper arms are resting at your sides and your hands are level with your wrists.

The Secondary Use Zone:  This is the area just beyond your Primary Use Zone.  This area is where you should keep items that get regular use but don’t require immediate attention.   Personally, I used to keep the cat’s treats in this zone, but have had to move them to the Primary Use Zone, in order to meet Sammie’s immediate needs.

The Infrequent Use Zone:  This is the area just beyond the Secondary Use Zone and used to house items used rarely.  Items you might keep here, if no room in the primary or secondary zones would be trays or files you don’t use very often.

I’m certainly no expert in the area if workstation ergonomics but what I can tell you is that since I’ve started utilizing the aforementioned tips I feel better while at my workstation.

One last thing, even though your workstation may be set up in the most perfect ergonomically correct way it is still a good idea to give your eyes an occasional rest from the computer screen, and get up on occasion to stretch your arms, legs, hands and neck.  Keeping yourself comfortable, rested, and free from the stiffness that comes from sitting stationary too long, should contribute to your writing creativity and productivity.

Feel free to post any other tips you may have!