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Valerie J. Clarizio

Valerie Clarizio is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Door County. 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 the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romance novel.

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Fiction

Covert Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery

 2012, VJC Books 

Date, publisher
 

Detective Spinelli's life is tossed sideways when he is reassigned from the Homicide division to assist in the Child Services division of the Social Services Department for the holiday season.

Caseworker Shannon O’Hara moonlights as Santa Claus's little helper at the mall, and when Santa and an elf turn up dead, she appears to be next on the killer's list.

Spinelli and Shannon are forced to work together to solve the murders and keep Shannon from becoming the next victim. The trouble is they have wildly different philosophies about dealing with clientele and how best to solve these crimes. Their unwanted attraction to each other triggers additional stress for the two. Will Spinelli be able to complete his job without losing his heart?

Craving Vengeance, a Nick Spinelli Mystery

2013, VJC Books

Nick Spinelli's normal life as a homicide detective has been catapulted into a whirlwind of chaotic holiday adventures since he met the exquisite 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 and then ending with a long warm adventurous night in her arms. His plans quickly change when cupid is found murdered in a back alley.

Shannon is linked to the victim and when another cupid turns up dead, it is discovered that she’s linked to him too. Spinelli is motivated to go undercover as a singing valentine dressed as cupid, complete with wings and a quiver of arrows. 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.

With Shannon’s ties to the victims, is it possible Spinelli is next on the killer's list?

 

Crazed Reckoning, a Nick Spinelli Mystery

2015, VJC Books
 

After experiencing a murderous Christmas and Valentine's Day with his love, Shannon O'Hara, Detective Nick Spinelli assumed Saint Patrick's Day couldn't be any worse. He should have known better.

While out on a geocaching adventure in Door County, Shannon and her friend Anna find more than they bargained for in the cache box.

When Shannon disappears, Spinelli is sent racing to find her. Amidst the chaos of an unruly Irish celebration, and a decades-old Irish family feud, he must rescue her from the hands of a madman.

The Code Enforcer, A Crime & Passion Stalk City Hall novel

2019, VJC Books

Having been made the laughing stock of her hometown by her cheating ex-fiancé, Investigator Markie Pearson has sworn off overly-confident, good-looking men. When Bryce Hawk strolls into town, Markie quickly realizes he's the classic example of a man she needs to keep at a distance.

Ex-Marine Bryce Hawk moves to small-town Wisconsin after his military career-ending injury. All he wants to do is hide in his mundane job as the city's code enforcer while he sorts out his life. What Bryce doesn't account for is Markie, that emerald eyed beauty, walking through his office door on day one. Too bad it's too, late. Women are not in his plans, nor will they ever be...especially Markie, the one who gets his dormant juices flowing while irritating him at the same time.

When the municipal code violators that Bryce is investigating are murdered, Bryce becomes Markie's number one suspect. Or, is he another target? Is she?

Will this damaged cop and wounded vet overcome their inner demons in order to work together to escape the claws of death and perhaps find love in the process?

 

A Brush with Death, A Crime & Passion Stalk City Hall novel

2020, VJC Books  

Ben Deprez has been secretly in love with Cori for years and knowing of her wounded heart has him waiting for the right time to make his move. Now is the time, and Cori seems receptive, but Ben's past still haunts him. He's never been that guy who can say or do the right thing when it comes to women.

Cori Simon has had about all she can take working two jobs to support her family since her ex left without a trace ten years earlier. The last thing she needs is to get involved with another man who would surely disappoint her.

Just when Cori decides to open her heart to Ben, women he holds key information about turn up dead. She realizes she should have never trusted him and his womanizing ways.

When Cori's son finds himself in an illegal predicament, he turns to Ben for help. Ben answers the call for aid full-well knowing that in helping the teenager he will risk losing Cori's trust, the very thing he's worked hard to earn. Ben is left hoping she loves him enough to forgive him for the decisions he's made to right the wrongs of her son and himself.

A Fraudulent Encounter, A Crime & Passion Stalk City Hall novel

2022, VJC Books

A drug investigation turned deadly for Daxon Mertz. Witnessing the murder of his wife and unborn child, he left his big city job to become the police chief of a small town. Closing his heart, he threw himself into his work, to forget all he’d lost.

Divorcee, Natasha Kane lives with the small town gossips still whispering about her cheating ex-husband and the much younger woman he preferred. Building a wall around her heart to avoid further hurt and scandal, she fulfills her days as the finance director for the city and safeguarding taxpayers’ money.

When over a quarter of a million dollars goes missing from the city’s treasury, Dax finds himself investigating Natasha, the person with access to the treasury and most recently, his heart.

Feeling the hurt all over again at the betrayal of a man she loves, Natasha finds herself Dax’s prime suspect. What will the gossip mills say now?

How do they overcome suspicion, betrayal of the heart, and scandal?

 

Missing the Crown Jewels, a Crown Ranch novel

2017, VJC  Books
 

Divorce Moved Her to Despair, But Now She Has A New Chance at Love

After a devastating divorce, Peyton Crown is finally surfacing from a dark hole of despair. She finds herself hoping for a new life with Mason ‘Storm’ Starr, her brother’s best friend.

Striving to Overcome His Demons, He Seeks Solitude In The Country

Storm’s intent is simple: hide in the quiet confines of his best friend’s family horse ranch in Kentucky. The perfect place to sort out his life after walking away from the Army and fight his internal demons. His solitude is interrupted by his buddy’s little sister. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and he willingly surrenders the battle.

Enemies Threaten To Upturn The Family’s Kentucky Derby Ambitions

The Crown family begins receiving threats, just weeks before the Kentucky Derby. The overprotective men in Peyton’s life vow to keep 24/7 tabs on her and the family’s prize horse—Prince Bourbonville—a hopeful for the next Triple Crown. Circumstances arise that threaten to keep Peyton and Prince away from the derby, but Storm and her brother Coach are determined they’ll attend, no matter the sacrifice.

Missing Out On Life, a Crown Ranch novel

2018, VJC Books

Jaded by the Past. Closed to a Future. Shocked by Unveiled Secrets. They Were Meant to be Together

Meredith Wellington receives a call that her sister has been murdered. Her two young nieces land on her doorstep. An instant family is the last thing she needs as she reaches for the top rung of the corporate ladder.

An Unexpected Visitor from His Past Shakes Up His Simple Ranch Life

Jeremiah Crown, aka Coach, lives a simple life managing his family’s Kentucky horse ranch. When a damsel in distress decked out in a suit and spiked heels needs assistance, he’s more than happy to help, and happier still to realize this corporate powerhouse doesn’t recognize him as the man she’d deemed an enemy in high school twenty years earlier.

Overcoming Old Enmity

Once she realizes Coach’s identity, any chance of a romantic relationship disappears. When Meredith places her nieces low on her priority list, Jeremiah reconsiders his attraction to her. When danger comes calling, Meredith realizes this kindhearted veteran has the skill set to help her, if only she could set aside her pride to ask.

Can two people overcome past misunderstandings in time to thwart approaching danger?

Missing Evidence, a Crown Ranch novel 

2023, VJC Books
 

When Garrett Crown’s friend is murdered on his watch, he’s devastated. Running from his demons, he leaves the city and returns to his family homestead in Kentucky, hopeful that small-town life and tranquility will once again be his companion.

Riley Murphy, aka Skeeter, spent ten years in the Army only to be ousted when she claimed that her commanding officer had beat her, and left her for dead. Soon after, her career Army brother commits suicide. Skeeter finds evidence of foul play, but her accusations fall on deaf ears when she names her commanding officer.

Fearing for her life, she takes refuge at the Crown Ranch under the protection of two of her brother’s former military friends, one being Garrett’s brother.

When reminders related to her past with her commanding officer show up at her doorstep, she again fears death.
Garrett feels a powerful attraction to Skeeter and vows to protect her, no matter the cost. He failed his friend, but he will NOT fail Skeeter.

Time WARped, a Preserver & Protector novel

2020, VJC Books

When Veteran Blake Cornelis visits his great grandfather’s Civil War grave, he is whisked back in time to Gettysburg, where his ancestor was a hero. His mission—to preserve his family’s decorated military record, because his cousin, Evan, is determined to steal the Cornelis heroism for his own family’s ancestry. Fighting Evan is demanding and requires unremitting vigilance. Fortunately, the gods have sent Blake an exquisite guardian angel to help him.

Ariel, a time travel Protector, is tasked on this journey with safeguarding Blake, and she vows to do that—at any cost. But the attractive hero from Wisconsin is unlike others she’s been assigned to protect. The intense attraction between them casts them into deadly peril on the battlefield.

Blake and Ariel are sent into other wartimes, and as secrets unfold they realize they must sacrifice all to conquer his evil cousin, for the Cornelis honor is not all that is at stake. The fate of the American people lies in their hands. But Evan is a formidable foe, determined to achieve his mission, and since he has nothing to lose, he’ll do whatever it takes to succeed—no matter the cost.

Destiny Reclaimed, a Preserver & Protector novel

2021, VJC Books

Jack Cornelis’ life is planned. Complete his tour of duty in Vietnam, intact. Return home. Marry his sweetheart and have a family. But, the powers that be have other ideas for him. Like his ancestors, Jack is a Preserver. When duty calls, he’s whisked back in time to preserve his family’s decorated military record while his thieving relatives attempt to steal the Cornelis heroism to hold as their own.

Gwendoline Tebon happily marries Jack when he returns from war. But her jubilance is shattered when her twin brother is killed in action.

When Gwendoline discovers her husband is a time traveler who can change history, she begs him to go back and save her brother. He refuses. The Gods forbid Preservers to alter history, they are only to preserve it. Gwendoline is so distraught, it threatens the life of their unborn child. Jack gives in. But his slight change to history causes undesirable consequences in present day.

Jack scrambles to find a way to set the record straight before the new destiny takes hold and spirals completely out of control. But, can he? Is the new destiny now permanent and their idyllic life forever gone?

Talia & Ryan's Story, a Love on the Door County Peninsula Story

2018, VJC Books

Talia Johnson is living her dream in Door County, WI. But, being a Park Ranger comes with sacrifices.

Deputy Ryan Larson loves his job but worries about the attraction he feels for the surly Talia Johnson.

When pandemonium breaks out, Talia's life becomes endangered. Ryan races to help her.

Will her stubbornness prevent Ryan from saving her?

Jess & Sam's Story, a Love on the Door County Peninsula Story

2018, VJC Books
 

After twenty years, Jess returns home to care for her ailing mother. Close proximity to the man she once loved—who’d dumped her on the very day she expected a marriage proposal—reawakens her broken heart and strengthens her vow to never put faith in a man.

By his own choice, Sam’s the most elusive bachelor in town, his walls of defense firmly in place. But when the feisty little brunette he dated in high school and college moves back, Sam needs to step up his game, stiffening those walls to concrete. True love? A forever union? What kind of idiot believes in that?

No matter which way Sam and Jess turn in their little home town, they run into each other. And stumbling under the mistletoe isn’t what either one needs.

Taken by Surprise

2017, VJC Books

 

To Take Control of Her Life She’ll Sacrifice it All and Shatter Expectations

Everyone is shocked when Clare Ulster leaves her rich and handsome fiancé, chucks her well-to-do Milwaukee city life, and moves into her grandparents’ old homestead in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The quiet small town of Iron City is just what she needs to get her life in order and learn to stand on her own. No men needed!

>>>Her Ex-Fiancé Is Out to Make Her Life a Living Hell

Unfortunately, disaster follows her. Unable to let her go, her abusive, cheating ex- fiancé finds his way to the U.P. and sets out to make Clare’s life more of a living hell then he’d done in the past. Additionally, Clare’s alleged involvement with the Fire Chief, aka, town player, lands her in a world of trouble with his ring of female admirers, sending her on a dangerously chaotic adventure including murder and kidnapping. With Clare's life in danger, irresistible Police Chief Jack Ricco will do whatever it takes to keep their newest resident safe.

Will Clare and Jack be able to survive the deceptively peaceful Iron City?

Unforeseen Obsessions

2016, VJC Books
 

Peter sets out on a perilous hunt for his best friend's killer while trying to protect his widow, who appears to be next on the murderer's list. The mystery begins to unravel when he finds a connection between this murder and two other law enforcement officers, who were all part of an internet crime task force.

Alexandra's husband dies in her arms after he's stabbed in cold blood. She vows to see the murderer brought to justice. But, there's only one officer in the Police Department who seems interested in catching his killer.

Peter and Alexandra find themselves alone in the battle for justice and truth when they discover members of the local police department cannot be trusted.

Vowing to protect Alexandra, while putting all the pieces of this puzzle together proves two things, Peter is falling in love with his best friend's widow and time is their enemy as the killer closes in.

Plan Interrupted

2015, VJC Books

Elizabeth Shaw’s professional life is going according to plan until she meets the handsome widower and his two young children next door. Having shelved her personal life to land her dream job, she disregards her romantic feelings for him. But the forces of nature have other ideas for her.

Joe Antonetti has made his children his main focus since the death of his wife. But his beautiful neighbor becomes an irresistible distraction and has him wondering if he can change her priorities.

Surrendering to their attraction for each other causes another player to step in with his own plan for Elizabeth. One that could not only end the budding romance but her life as well.

Family Forever

2016, VJC Books
 

After tragically losing both parents, Dylan Jacobs is left to care for his five younger brothers while also managing his family’s thriving dairy farm.

Marissa Geyer is desperate to get away from her alcoholic father. When Dylan offers her a live-in nanny/housekeeper position, she jumps at the opportunity. The loving, chaotic household feeds her maternal instincts, and before long, she falls hard for Dylan and the boys. Her sexy boss, however, seems opposed to a romantic relationship.

Despite a powerful attraction to Marissa, Dylan pulls back. His heart has been broken—more than once—by women unwilling to take on his ready-made family. He won’t risk his heart again, or the hearts of his younger brothers, who he’s vowed to protect at any cost.

Marissa may be devoted to his family, but is it enough to risk his heart—and five more—for the woman he’s come to love? Can they become a Family Forever?

Love Thaws a Frozen Heart

2017, VJC Books

Casey is hell-bent on getting Noah to sign divorce papers. Hiding out at his camp, Noah is hell-bent on not signing.

Procuring a snowmobile, Casey sets out in a blinding snowstorm to find him. After crashing, she is near death when Noah finds her.

Will a couple of days snowed in at the cabin cause either of them to change their mind?

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