Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway!

I recently began offering my IRWA chaptermates the opportunity to do guest spots on my blog, mainly because I don't have any new books coming out until next July, and also because I'm not sure how many more home improvement fiascoes I can undertake and live to tell about them.

Valley Brown is one of the brave volunteers. 

Body Heat and Ice Cream
By Valley Brown
The house is finally quiet, at least for a few minutes. Our weekend guests departed a couple of hours ago, and my Other Half left to run an errand. Finally, I can sit down and write.

I volunteered to write this guest post, not only to help out a writing/author friend but to keep my brain motivated. Cheryl told me the topic choice was up to me, with a mischievous/sadistic little online laugh and a suitably devilish, animated emoticon. Figuring a virtual gauntlet had been thrown down, here I sit, contemplating what gentle havoc I can unleash on Ms. Catmaster.

The only thing my mind really wants to focus on is a fond memory of the enormous scoop of handmade Red Velvet ice cream, nestled in a delicate gingerbread waffle cone, that I salivated over after lunch today.  The ecstasy of that luscious concoction made me think about the concepts of hot, cold and lust – all those juicy characteristics of Romance.  Romance writers are rated by the level of body heat they generate on the page and in the reader. Cheryl is a “scorcher” whereas I am a “teaser.”

Let’s put it this way. If you are reading Cheryl’s stuff while trying to hold and eat an ice cream cone, one of two things is bound to happen: 1) the ice cream is going to spontaneously melt from the heat radiating between the words and your body, and thus end up in your lap, or 2) you’re going to dump the (still melting, by the way) ice cream on yourself in hopes of ending that major hot flash engendered by sex-empathy.  Either way, the ice cream is a loss and is probably soaking through your clothes.

Applying the same scenario to my stuff, we have somewhat different results: 1) you’re so caught up in the heroine’s inner turmoil over the guy she’s lusting after that you chomp your way through the cone before it has time to melt, or b) you’re going to lick that baby slowly to savor the flavor and a stream of melted ice cream starts trickling out the bottom of the cone. Not exactly hot flash control, but it will eventually distract you from reading.

Not saying Cheryl’s words don’t do more for you than generate heat. They certainly do. I’m just making clinical observations about the effects of different styles of writing on body heat and ice cream cones.  (By the way, Red Velvet is so worth lusting after . . . )

LOL! Thanks, Valley! I'm guessing the moral of that story is not to eat ice cream while you're reading! *;) winking

Meet Valley Brown!
"Passion comes from the soul, and writing holds a special place in mine. Passion for writing keeps me up in front of my word processor long past the dictates of my better judgment. It draws energy from every cell of my body, allowing me to paint images with words in ways that continually amaze me."

Romance, or rather writing romance, became an obsession late in life for Valley Brown. After years of building a career in the visual arts, she found herself driven to write in a genre she had never expected to work in: Romance, with a twist of suspense. Her romantic suspense series celebrates mature women who realize life is one big amazing journey and that love is always worth a second chance.

SPEEDING TICKETS, the first book in The Rocky Road series, was the result -- a story about one woman's journey through trauma and tragedy, and how the power of love keeps her moving forward. The stories in The Rocky Road series touch on the different ways in which people deal with wounds that never heal, yet somehow find strength and the courage to love again.

Valley Brown is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as numerous arts organizations. She has won awards for poetry and short fiction, and writes articles for niche magazines. She lives in Southern Indiana with her husband (who swears she killed him off in Book One – Speeding Tickets), and enjoys cruising on her '99 Honda Shadow. And while she openly admits lusting after Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, chocolate and coffee will always top her addiction list.


Speeding Tickets is a contemporary romantic suspense novel centered around recently widowed Christine Cassler, whose journey through trauma and tragedy is intermixed with the hope of finding love once more. She is hardly prepared for a tumultuous romance with a mysterious handsome biker, though, and when she uncovers a scheme of deceit and embezzlement at work, it threatens not only her second chance at happiness, but also her very life.

The road trip to happiness can be pretty rough. Christine Cassler Hartford's romantic honeymoon takes a nose-dive the moment Doug mistakes her for another woman in his sleep. It's a sucker punch that has her questioning the new life she started with the man she can't live without. Chris planned a smooth ride, but this was one road hazard she didn't see coming and it's making her crazy. When a local mobster threatens them over money her recently deceased employer stole from him, her stress level skyrockets. The Feds want to use Chris as bait to catch this guy and the gangster's voluptuous daughter wants Doug. Can Chris find money she never knew existed and stay alive long enough to keep her marriage and sanity intact?

Valley is offering a free ebook copy of Rough Piece of Road to one lucky commenter! For your chance to win, post a comment here on the blog that includes your email address. The winner will be chosen at random. Contest closes at 9PM October 3rd. Good luck!


  1. Thanks for the fun post, Valley! Good luck with your series!

  2. LOL. Great post. But I'll probably never feel the same way about ice cream again...

  3. Hey Valley and Cheryl--fun blog! I enjoyed your ice cream comparisons--my books probably fall somewhere in between, I think. Looking forward to meeting you soon, Valley--I really do come to IRWA meetings in the winter and hopefully, you'll be at Retreat! Good luck with your books!! Heading to Amazon right now to check out Speeding Tickets and hoping I'll have a shot a winning Rough Piece of Road. ;-)

  4. Def going to check out speeding ticket and we all no not to eat icecream while reading Cheryl books u have to read them while your hubby is home he loves her books and has never read them hahahaha

  5. I love it!! I've learned from experience that Ice Cream cones and sizzling romance doesn't work. I might as well toss it on the hot pavement. I ordered Speeding ticket. It sounds to good to pass up or speed on by. I'd like to get the chance to win the ebook version of Rough Piece of Road.

  6. Fun post, Valley! And my to-be-read pile keeps growing and growing... :)