A little mystery, a dash of romance, add in a sexy detective and you have the Nick Spinelli mystery series by Valerie J. Clarizio.
Shelley R. Pickens, author of the upcoming YA thriller “The Haunting of Secrets”, took the time to sit down and grill fellow author Valerie J. Clarizio about the second book in her Spinelli series, “Craving Vengence.”
First, here’s a little about the book:
Nick Spinelli’s normal life as a homicide detective has been catapulted into a whirlwind of chaotic holiday adventures ever since he met the beautiful Shannon O’Hara.
Nick had hoped to spend his first Valentine’s Day with Shannon in a traditional manner, starting with a nice dinner out on the town and then perhaps a long warm adventurous night in her arms. His plans quickly change when cupid is found murdered in a back alley. The investigation becomes more and more inconceivable, as Spinelli discovers that Shannon is linked to the victim. When another cupid turns up dead, and it is discovered that Shannon knows him as well, Spinelli is motivated to go undercover as a singing valentine dressed as cupid, complete with wings and a quiver of arrows. How many other cupids are at risk? Is Spinelli on the killer’s list as well? The stress ignited by the day’s events causes sparks to fly between Spinelli and Shannon as he struggles to piece it all together and stop the string of slayings.
Valerie– This will sound a bit odd but I never read for pleasure until about six years ago. I had just completed my Masters in Business while holding a full-time and part-time job and suddenly had so much time on my hands I didn’t know what to do with myself. A good friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book, from her Stephanie Plum series, and simply said, “Here, read this.” I said, “No thanks, I don’t read.” She put the book in my hands anyway and not only did I read that book, I read every book Evanovich wrote as well as every JA Konrath book I could get my hands on. I logged over 50 books read within that year.
I woke up one morning remembering the quirky dream I’d had and I thought to myself that Evanovich could make that dream into an awesome book. The more I thought about it I thought to heck with Evanovich, I’ll write the book myself. Hence, Nick Spinelli was born.
Shelley– So we start with murders on the most romantic day of the year! What made you choose Valentine’s Day for the setting of your story?
Valerie– Well, I’d already screwed up Spinelli and Shannon’s Christmas with murder and mayhem in Covert Exposure (book #1 in the series), so I thought that I may as well mess up their Valentine’s Day as well to see exactly how tough and in love they are. What a perfect day for testing love’s strength, don’t you think?
Shelley– Have you ever had a Valentine’s Day that didn’t quite go as expected like Nick and Shannon?
Valerie– Can’t say I did, and nor do I ever want to. I just want to take my heart-shaped box of chocolates and indulge.
Shelley– Nick Spinelli is one hot cop. What was your inspiration when you created him?
Valerie– When I started the series, I fully intended that Shannon would be the main focus, but as my fingers hit the keyboard Spinelli overtook everything, and told me how it was going to be. Now here’s my typical disclaimer – I work at City Hall and no matter how much some of the Police Officers think they are Nick Spinelli, they are NOT! I’d love to have just one Nick Spinelli on our force.
Shelley– Do you have to do a lot of crime research/police procedure for your books?
Valerie– Seeing as I’m fortunate enough to work at City Hall, I have plenty of easily available resources at my fingertips. The Firefighters lend a hand sometimes as well. Also, my brother is a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Shelley- In the book Detective Walker is an older married man who tries to help Nick through some of his relationship problems. Do you have a person like that whom you go to when things are rough?
Valerie– Oh yes, I have a great little circle of friends who are always there for me when I need them.
Shelley– Do you personally relate to any of your characters in this series?
Valerie– I like to think I’m more like Detective Walker. The down-to-earth, plain, supportive, brains behind the operation type.
Shelley– You left the book with quite a cliffhanger! So what can we expect from the next Spinelli adventure?
Valerie– I have a feeling that St. Patrick’s Day is going to test the strength of both Spinelli and Shannon. Only this time their adventure may take them out of Milwaukee and to ………
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Valerie Clarizio lives in beautiful Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into a successful hunter and fisherwoman.
She holds a Master of Business Administration degree and works as a Finance Director. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.
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About Shelley R. Pickens
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.
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