Monday, November 26, 2012


As a child, I lived in the far reaches of the city, then in the suburbs of Chicago. I didn’t know much about the downtown area, nearly twenty miles away by electric train, except that I always looked forward to my infrequent trips there. My mom treated me every holiday, taking me downtown to see the Christmas windows of the department stores. My favorites were always the windows of the iconic Marshall Field’s (now Macys) on State Street.

That’s why I used Marshall Fields as the model for Westbrook, the main setting for HOLIDAY IN CRIMSON (originally an Intrigue, CRIMSON HOLIDAY) and NIGHTMARE IN CRIMSON (originally an Intrigue, CRIMSON NIGHTMARE), the related holiday romantic suspense novels from Entangled Publishing for their Dead Sexy line. Both books have been updated and revised to add more deadly detail :)

Westbrook Department Store's Christmas party wasn't that wild--until, that is, Santa ended up dead. Now window designer Shelby Corbin is the prime suspect in his murder, and the holidays are anything but festive. If Shelby doesn't figure out who killed Santa, she'll be ringing in the new year behind bars.

Westbrook's impossibly sexy co-owner and CEO Rand McNabb's romantic attentions both thrill and frighten Shelby. But is he really helping her search for the truth about that fatal night? Or does Rand have a deadlier motive for courting the only possible witness to the crime...?

In thinking about a holiday romantic mystery, I knew I wanted to use a department store like the one I loved as a child. I wanted to involve the Christmas windows. And I wanted the murder victim to be Santa Claus. No, wait! Not the real Santa. The department store one. Rather the one dressed as Santa for the annual Christmas party. Okay, so I have a bizarre sense of humor.

Part of me is in my heroine Shelby. The Yay! It’s Christmas! part. From the time I moved out on my own until we learned my late husband was ill, I had an annual Christmas tree-trimming party. I made dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies and gave most of them away I collected a new special Christmas ornament every year, just as Shelby does, so I could experience my holiday history every time I looked at the tree.

Because I always loved Christmas, I enjoyed creating this intricately plotted romantic mystery. A fun task, and a fun story, one I hope will make readers smile.

What would make a great romantic suspense for you? Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of one of my Intrigue backlist books.



  1. When we visited Chicago we made sure to check Marshall Fields. A great romantic suspense story keeps me enthralled and invested in the couple.

  2. I'm wondering if Santa put the wrong person on his naughty list?

    I love lots of twists & turns in a Romantic Suspense.

  3. Jane -- Unfortunately Marshall Field's is long gone, bought out by Macy's. Some of us still mourn its demise.

    Mary -- the naughty list comment made me laugh. Um, in Nightmare in Christmas (available in a couple of weeks), Santa gets run over by 8 tiny reindeer.

  4. A great romantic suspense... for me one that keeps me guessing and has a HEA. Enjoy seeing the hero & heroine experience that spark and deal with it during whatever danger or mystery is about.
    Happy Holidays!

  5. One where I want to continue reading the book

  6. Mary -- Congratulations! You win a backlist ebook. Send me an email at and I will send you the URL and coupon.