Christmas Trifle

Book One
The Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels

Writing a romantic suspense novel is completely different than writing a whodunnit. When I wrote Christmas Trifle, the story of two divorcing but still madly-in-love executive chefs who have to solve a few murders, I had no idea what a different dish I was serving up to myself. I thought tackling romantic suspense would be easy-breezy. After all, I’ve written fourteen mystery novels, each one with varying degrees of romance in them. Several have even won awards.

So tackle it I did. And I’m glad. But as I say, romantic suspense is different than a straight-forward mystery. It took me a month or two – okay, three – to get into the style. I found romantic suspense goes at a more leisurely pace than a mystery. It’s more personal. And I found I liked it. It gave me the opportunity to bring out more facets of the two protagonists’ characters, flesh them out, show their inner thoughts and feelings. I fell in love with the often foolish Charly and Cliff Harding, as much for their shortcomings as their virtues.

A serious relationship, such as marriage, is not for the faint of heart. Christmas Trifle  may be fiction, but I tried to call upon my own years of marriage for a little of the give and take that’s needed for any success. Aside from Charly and Cliff’s stubbornness, hurt feelings, and amusing one-upmanship, the overshadowing mystery is always there, too. And the looming unseen threat. I love looming, unseen threats. At least, on paper.

Lastly, I put in a rescue cat and a dog, Felix and Oscar, two pals who will not be separated by anything their warring owners try to pull. Ultimately, these four-legged charmers change the course of the story, with a little help from a few unsolved murders.

In Christmas Trifle the reader meets Felix, a black and white tuxedo cat, found as a kitten by the then newly married chefs. They were so enamored of Felix, they named their new business, an upscale restaurant, after him. Chez Felix was born. Shortly afterward, Oscar, a Golden Retriever, bounced into their lives. Felix and Oscar’s continuing friendship, no matter what else happens, is of paramount importance in this book. Because they help bring happiness back to two very unhappy people.

It begs the question, just who rescues who?

Meet the main characters:

Charly: thirty-years-old, lovely, blonde, intelligent, sweet, but sits on what she really wants. She’s known for going “along with the flow.” But can you sometimes agree yourself right out of a marriage?

Cliff: thirty-two, handsome, dark-haired, charming, wants to make a name for himself. But when success comes, he begins to believe his own press releases. Can being a dynamo in public backfire on you in private?

Aunt Pearl: The story’s truthsayer. Older, wiser, tough outside, soft inside. Pearl’s made a lot of mistakes in her life, especially with men. Can she help teach her niece, Charly, how to not make the same ones?

Christmas Trifle
Book One of the Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels.


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