Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special** with COVERT EXPOSURE, A Nick Spinelli Mystery Book 1 by Valerie J. Clarizio #recipe ~ CUT OUT COOKIES #Holiday #Romance

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s

Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, VALERIE J. CLARIZIO, and her favorite recipe for CUT OUT COOKIES!


A Nick Spinelli Mystery Book 1


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. From the beginning, Spinelli and Caseworker Shannon O’Hara generate their own kind of fireworks, causing more than the normal workplace stress. They both have their own philosophies for dealing with the clientele. However, the forces of nature have their own plan for Spinelli and Shannon.

Shannon moonlights as Santa Claus’ little helper at the mall, and when Santa and an elf turn up dead Shannon appears to be next on the killer’s list. Spinelli is placed back on homicide and goes undercover as Santa to help capture the killer. He catches a great deal of grief along the way but will he capture the heart of his little Santa’s helper as well?


I really enjoyed this book. Spinelli was a fantastically fun character. ~ Kindle Reviewer

I loved this book. It was a quick, enjoyable, sexy read. Ms. Clarizio knows how to build romance so that it’s not just meaningless sex inserted into a story. You can feel the attraction between the Detective Spinelli and the Red haired beauty, Shannon O’Hara. ~ Jewel Walker

A Nick Spinelli Mystery Book 1

Today I’d like to introduce you to Detective Nick Spinelli. You’re going to be hearing about Nick for the next several months because his life seems to spark up during holidays. Whether it is Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day, the holidays play havoc on Nick. Nick is one of those manly men. You know the type, good looking and full of self-confidence—that is until he meets the ball-busting social worker who gives him a run for his money. Suddenly, Nick isn’t so sure of himself and is forced to reevaluate life as he knows it if he wants to make the lovely Shannon O’Hara a part of his life.

The Spinelli series is a three book series. The first book, COVERT EXPOSURE, A NICK SPINELLI MYSTERY, revolves around Christmas and Nick is forced to go undercover as Santa to catch a killer.

Funny story about this book, when it was first released by my publisher it was released under the title COOKIES FOR SANTA. The cover contained a plate of cookies, milk, a gun, and handcuffs.  The problem was that nobody noticed the gun and handcuffs, and thought the book was either a cookbook or children’s book. Due to some steaminess in the book between Spinelli and Shannon, I couldn’t hardly have parents buying this book for their child so the decision was made to change the cover and the title.

Since it was Christmas cut out cookies that Spinelli used to get closer to Shannon (Shannon baked them and Spinelli ate them) I decided that the recipe I would share with you all would be my favorite cut out cookie recipe. It’s a quick, easy, and delicious recipe. But before we get to the recipe, here’s an excerpt from COVERT EXPOSURE.


He dipped his head and pressed his lips gently to her bruised cheekbone. She sighed and then tilted her head to the side giving him better access. Her cheek felt warm and soothing to his lips. He eased his kisses over to her mouth. Her incredible scrumptious lips met his. Though he wanted more, he worked to keep the kiss light. He worried that if he rushed her she’d back off. He figured her for a much slower pace than which he was accustomed.

It took every bit of strength he could find to end the kiss. He took a step back. Pulling his gaze from her proved even more difficult. It was as though she wouldn’t release him. She ran her tongue across her lips. Did she do that on purpose? He decided if she did it a second time he would deem it intentional, and would kiss her again. But this time he would kiss her like he wanted to in the first place, deep and long. He would explore her lovely mouth, every ounce of it. He stared at her beautiful mouth, waiting. She stared back.

He knew he needed to end this. If he stayed another second he wouldn’t be able to control himself. The depth of his desire for her scared him. He cleared his throat. “Good night, Shannon. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

He turned and took a step before she spoke. “Wait,” the desperation in her voice was unmistakable.

He spun around. She stepped toward him, reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him toward her. She pressed her soft moist lips to his. Her lips parted, inviting him in. His tongue caressed hers, slow, and controlled at first, but not for long. She met his quickening pace. She wove her fingers through his hair. He clasped his hands around her waist and pulled her tight to his body. Shock, pleasure, and heat spread through him like wildfire. He kissed her deeper, harder, wetter, and longer. He explored every ounce of her mouth absorbing her sweet flavor. His heart raced. He slid his lips from her mouth to her jaw, to her neck. She tilted her head back. A soft groan escaped her lips. He whispered her name and all of a sudden, as if hearing the sound of her name slapped her back into reality she pulled herself from him and stepped back. She looked confused.

He stepped toward her, and she stepped back.

“Are you okay?” Spinelli asked.

She threw her hand over her mouth and shook her head.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that.”

Spinelli raised an eyebrow. “Did what, kissed me?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

Spinelli went out on a limb. “Well if it’s any consolation, I didn’t mind,” he teased, trying to lighten the moment.

“Damn margaritas.”

He fought the urge to smile.

“Didn’t you like the kiss?” Judging from her initial response to his kiss, he was confident it was safe to ask.

“That’s not the point.”

“So you did like it.”

She shifted her eyes to her feet.

“Well?” he pressed.

She lifted her gaze and met his. Her chest rose as she sucked in a breath. “It doesn’t matter if I did or didn’t, it’s not going to happen again.”

He stared at her, speechless, convinced his ears had deceived him. They’d perhaps just shared the most intimate sensual kiss of his life. Was it possible she could kiss like that and not mean it? Was she afraid, and if so, afraid of what?

His mind raced for something to say. He came up empty. He inched toward her, and reached for her. She stopped him with her hand. “It’s just not going to work. We’re two very different people. I’m sorry,” she stammered.

Spinelli stood in the hallway, dumfounded. In silence, he watched as she turned and entered her apartment, shutting the door behind her. That’s it. A crater the size of the Grand Canyon filled his chest where his heart used to be.

About Author Valerie Clarizio…

Valerie Clarizio is a USA Today Bestselling author who lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time in 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 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 romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

I hope you enjoy the recipe Valerie is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 451 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.



3 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Butter
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Mix all ingredients together. Roll out the dough and cut out with your favorite Christmas cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.


**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Valerie will give away an e-book copy of LOVE THAWS A FROZEN HEART to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog. Happy Reading!!

Thanks, Valerie, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!



12 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special** with COVERT EXPOSURE, A Nick Spinelli Mystery Book 1 by Valerie J. Clarizio #recipe ~ CUT OUT COOKIES #Holiday #Romance”

  1. Good morning, Valerie, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Both the book and the recipe sound killer! 🙂 I have a very similar cookie recipe but haven’t thought about it for years. Guess I need to find some grandchildren to help me make cookies! I love the introduction to Nick! Can’t wait to read his first story. Thanks for sharing with us today!

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