27 September 2017



I will soon be interviewed on the “Kendall and Cooper Talk Mysteries” podcast! Wendy Kendall and Julie Cooper loved “Revenge in Paris” so much, they contacted me for the interview.

If you haven’t read “Revenge in Paris” (it’s free!), sign up at my WEBSITE. You’ll be directed to download the story in your favorite format.

You will want to read Ang’s story as it is the first in a trilogy of stories. The three stories will stand on their own, but isn’t it more fun to get something free and prepare yourself for the thrill and mystery of the next noir in NOIR TRAVEL STORIES SERIES?

I had planned to publish "Portland Prey" in June, but a major life event happened.

My mom died. Many of you know she'd been very ill and I was gone during June to help my brother and sister-in-law who live in Naples, Florida where mom was in assisted living.

I have a lot to process about losing her, but that is for a different post. I'm just grateful she didn't have to go through hurricane Irma. I don't know what we would have done then. I'm also so grateful for my sibs who cared for her during a difficult period. 

After mom died at the end of July, the sibs and I were busy with all that death demands. I spent a lot of time working on her obituary and trying to capture who she was. That was about the only writing I did for a month.

I'd finished writing "Portland Prey" in June, but I had no focus nor energy to copy edit, check facts, format, and find authors to write blurbs or testimonials for the story. I researched the next noir. I went out to lunch with my pals. I did my paying job. I watched Ray Donavan.

Now I’m coming out of the fog of Mom’s loss. Thankfully the weather has cooled, my favorite season is upon us, and “Portland Prey” survived, unlike some of its characters.

When I read it over this past month, I loved it even more than when I wrote it. That rarely happens.

I finally gathered the courage to ask two people for blurbs and I was honored to receive this one from Tim Applegate, author of Fever Tree:

‘Portland Prey’ is a swift, seductive, menacing tale of extortion and murder that assuredly carries forward Revenge in Paris, Valerie Brooks' scintillating debut installment in her Noir Travel Story Series. Like the great James M. Cain, Brooks strips her story down to the bare essentials, effortlessly blending classic noir (an urban setting, unexpected narrative detours, a suspicious money trail) with uniquely modern components, including a professional computer hacker, Snapchat, and the Ashley Madison dating site. With its breakneck pace, intriguing cast of characters, and unabashed eroticism, ‘Portland Prey’ is a wild, wicked, and utterly delightful ride.
When the cover design is finished, I'll publish “Portland Prey” in ebook form and let you know when it's available. Until then, here are a few of the Portland settings in the story. Portland is rich with choices, but I decided to stay in the downtown area for the urban, atmospheric setting. 

Crystal Hotel

Hotel deLuxe (photo: Kirsten Steen)

Hotel Vintage

The famous round bed in this photo, one of the settings in “Portland Prey,” is in what hotel? 

If you know the answer, EMAIL ME. Please! Do not put your answer in the comment section below. That could give everyone who reads this blog the answer. Those who have the right answer will have their name put in a hat (yes, I actually use a hat) and a winner will be drawn for a special prize.

By the way, remember that cute little puppy we brought home last year? Well, Stevie wants to say hi to you!

I love when you comment. I'd also like your ideas. If you have something you'd like me to write about, please let me know. Also, if you just want some love, comment and I'll write back. You keep me going.

I’m thrilled to be in your world! Thanks so much for being in mine.


06 February 2017

7 Reasons to Sign Up for My Newsletter, Freebies and the Latest News!

Sisters. Revenge. Murder.

Hi Gobsmacked Loyalists!

I launched my NOIR TRAVEL STORY SERIES with “Revenge in Paris,” and the reviews are streaming in! Here's one that gave me the good kind of goosebumps.

Do you have post-holiday hangover? Maybe you need to hunker down. If so, just make sure you read “Revenge in Paris”, the first installment in the travel noir series by Valerie J. Brooks. This story isn’t a marathon–it’s a fast-paced, sweaty-palms, heart-racing holiday sprint around the festive City of Light, told through the eyes of a wannabe killer. The plot winds through Parisian streets and cafes and museums, and into the crooks and crannies of the cold, calculating, passionate, and unmedicated mind of “Helen Craig”. You’ll wince at the glitter and feel the crush of holiday crowds. You’ll want to get up and pour yourself a Scotch. But don’t bother to guess the finale. Brooks will ambush you with it. 
—Tom Titus, author of Blackberries in July: A Forager's Field Guide to Inner Peace

I’m ready to pour myself a whiskey and salute Tom!


Yes, I'm doing it again. This time I'm giving away an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (or an e-reader of your choice)! Get in on this. Drawing takes place around the Ides of March. 

To enter, sign up at MY WEBSITE


Don't you just love freebies? Well, here's one that will make you feel good. Send this postcard to friends and family! They get the free story "Revenge in Paris" and are entered in the drawing for an e-reader! 

Spread the love. Just drag and drop the postcard below into an email and add your own personal message. Don't forget Valentine's Day! What better way to say I love you than to send them a story of revenge and murder?


  • If you missed downloading the free first story "Revenge in Paris"
  • Discover who shows up in "Portland Prey," the second story of my noir series!
  • Hear about freebies & contests, and enter drawings for cool stuff!
  • Be the first to hear news about the series.
  • Learn what weird things I'm forced to do as an author.
  • Find out what makes me tingle with excitement in all things noir.
  • Read about my favorite noir podcasts, tv shows and movies. 

Click on the Cover to Sign Up on My Website

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p.s. "Revenge in Paris" will soon be available at your favorite bookseller site. Stay tuned!