More About the Author
Born in the county hospital in French Camp, California, Valerie 's childhood started out normally. Her father was becoming a CPA, her mother, a stay-at-home Mom. But within a few short years, the family, her mother 7-months pregnant, boarded a plane to Munich, Germany. They embarked on what was to become a life of travel, eventually living in Germany, Japan, Italy, and both coasts of America. It was the perfect childhood for an imaginative, curious, little girl.
Anticipating every new house, apartment and back yard, she always expected to find secret compartments or hidden passageways. The creek behind her home in Virginia led to many excursions rife with water moccasins and painted turtles, including one particularly dangerous encounter raiding the neighborhood boys' tree house. The clearly marked "NO GIRLS ALLOWED!" seemed like an open invitation to her 12-year-old self.
Always preferring to work outside with her dad, rather than do housework indoors with her mother and sister on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, when it came time to get a job in high school, she opted for anything other than one stuck behind a desk. So, in spite of the fact that she'd never taken swimming lessons, she flailed her way through the lifeguard qualification tests and became one of the first female lifeguards ever hired in town.
The next year, when she went away to college, and needed a little more money than waitressing provided, she applied for the job of manager at a pizza place nearby. When the owner told her he was thinking of paying "a man with a family" $700 a month, she said, "That will be fine, I'll take it." She was, again, the first female ever hired for that job. Years later, a dance studio wanted her to sign a contract stating if she got pregnant in the first year of employment she'd have to pay a $2,000 fine. A newlywed, she promptly quit and proceeded to get pregnant with her first son.
A self-admitted book addict, Valerie was the kid with the flashlight under her pillow, reading in bed long after lights out. Her exposure to different cultures led to a pervasive interest in people, with degrees & teaching credentials in Cultural Anthropology & English.
From freelance magazine articles to computer manuals, Valerie has always found a way to write. Her first book, Tilting Windmills, was a collection of poems. Her 2012 book, Saturday Salon: Bringing Community & Conversation Back Into Our Lives, evolved out of a unique salon she created and hosted for over 10 years. It includes great potluck recipes, and the sometimes, wicked history of French, Ancient Greek, and Harlem salons, and received top reviews including the Midwest Book Review.
SHATTERED Logan Book One, the first in her great, new mystery series, just came out, and you should stop reading this bio and BUY IT IMMEDIATELY! She's already busy working on Book Two, with the support, distraction and love of her husband and ever-expanding family of six, plus spouses, children, dogs and a lovely lemon tree on the patio.