The love of my life didn’t happen until I met my last husband, Norman in 1987. Third time’s the charm, they say. For me, this turned out to be true. When we met, I was thirty-six years old and ten years sober.
I’d been through a lot in my life—incest, rape, miscarriages, addiction, alcoholism, illnesses, and two divorces. He was a breath of fresh air—forthright, open, understanding, and loving. We hit it off and had twenty-nine wonderful years together. After what I’d been through, it felt like a reward to be with him. He was the best person I’d ever met.
He showed me that a man could be supportive, nurturing, and kind-hearted. He introduced me to the world beyond my hometown. We travelled, and I loved it. Due to my illnesses, we bought an RV so that I had everything I needed right at hand. We brought our miniature black poodle along, and off we went on some real adventures.
He was my happiness. But even though he’s gone now I get to keep this happiness that moved into my heart as our life grew together. It mended some of the holes and vacant places within me.
He was my stability, and I got to keep my independence, self-respect, and self-worth. I learned that even though I was in love with someone, I didn’t have to give up parts of myself. I didn’t need to compromise myself. When he died, I was allowed to carry the love he had developed in his life forward into the world as I share his story with others.
He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Since he died, I’ve painted abstracts with gusto to allay the deep grief I felt. In 2017, I painted 83 paintings and by the end of the year, sixteen pieces of my art hung in galleries, and some of my jewelry was in a gift store.
In 2018, I took the book I wrote in 2002 out of the mothballs and found a publishing company. My book, “Fragments of a Shattered Soul Made Whole: a memoir” was just released on the second anniversary of his death 26November2018.
I wouldn’t be where I am without Norm. He encouraged me to go as far as I could with whatever project I was working on. And now, I have the courage to go the rest of the way on my own.
The kind of romance that lasts is the kind of romance I want to write about. I have since written a murder mystery called, “Murder on Belcut Mountain” (2021) (book I) released on the fifth anniversary of his death. The genre is Romantic Suspense (think Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown).
My novels are not steamy, but they are definitely romantic.
The love between Detective Iain McClintock and his wife Rosie is what I call true married love. It’s deep and abiding and still sexy. They run into a devastating medical situation and the tension grows right alongside trying to capture a psychopathic murderer.
Iain’s partner, Detective Susan Miller, gets a romance of her own. Iain needs to take some family time and an interim detective, George, is called in from Newport, Oregon, 45 minutes from Artson (my fictional town). They find a zingy attraction between them even as the hunt heats up to stop this maniac before he kills again. That romance is threaded through book II, which I’m writing now. It’s called, “Murder in River’s Bend” (book II out by July 2023).
I’ve sketched out six book outlines in this series. In each book, pacing the murder and suspense, is romance that covers the spectrum from young adults to senior citizens.
I’m a professional member of Crime Writers of Canada and my genre is Romantic Suspense. On The Western Wing, I was part of a panel of BC writers discussing the topic: Is there a place for romance in crime fiction? I was honoured to be among these five wonderful and prolific authors. (1 hour panel)
Here’s the link:
Romance in Crime Fiction?
Having now published my first Romantic Suspense novel last November, I went from being an associate member to a professional member of Crime Writers of Canada. (10 minute interview)