Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to write The Dordogne Deception?
While writing postcards in our rented castle in the Dordogne region of France, the turret tower where I sat was struck by lightning. Jolts of charged energy surged through my body. Terrified and unable to sleep that night, a romantic suspense was born, The Dordogne Deception.
Please summarize your book
In The Dordogne Deception, an attractive female executive escapes from San Francisco to a castle in Southwestern France to heal the wounds from her unforeseen divorce. A cunning guest charms the new owner of the castle, luring her toward a deadly deception. A retired detective residing in the English Cotswolds investigates an improbable accidental death leading him to the French castle where he prevents a murder and discovers love in the outcome.
What is the overall theme of The Dordogne Deception?
By overcoming life’s obstacles, we gain strength. The mere desire to find love and be loved is not sufficient—trust and truth are essential components of love, helping us to overcome loss and deception.
Where does this book take place?
The Dordogne, in the Southwestern Perigord region of France.
Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story?
Attractive, honey-haired Cherise Eden, hurting from her painful divorce, escapes to the Dordogne in France. We follow her journey as she purchases a historic castle and begins a new life as the owner of the bed & breakfast Chateau Roufillay. The reader cheers and embraces Cherise as she faces the challenge to find love and empowerment.
François Delacroix, is motivated solely by money and has no moral compass. His past actions motivate his strategy to make Cherise his unwitting next target. He uses his good looks and savoir-faire to ensnare his victims.
Brett Maxfield is a beguiling hero. A retired Scotland Yard detective, Brett’s humble and humorous character serves as a counterpoint to the insincere imposter, Francois Delacroix. Brett carries pain and loss within and Cherise is attracted to his candor, sense of humor and authenticity.
Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers?
The Dordogne Deception will satisfy the reader’s taste for a good romantic suspense. All the elements are there—elegant European settings, an appealing heroine, a villainous scoundrel, deception, murder and a gratifying “happily-ever-after” conclusion.
How is your book relevant in today’s society?
With its contemporary setting in 2006, The Dordogne Deception reflects the reality that even powerful executive women make mistakes when it comes to love and romance. With perseverance and introspective honesty both men and women can find true love in their lives.
Is there any subject currently trending in the news that relates to your book?
In today’s ‘Sex and The City” appearance-focused mindset of young professional women, The Dordogne Deception provides a reminder that character goes much deeper than a man’s good looks and appearance of financial wealth.
What makes The Dordogne Deception different from other books like it?
Unlike a gothic romance, booklovers will recognize the contemporary problems and challenges that face the characters. Readers of The Dordogne Deception will be transported to elegant, exotic and familiar locations—San Francisco, England, Switzerland and France and vicariously share Cherise’s joy of owning a castle. Following her journey of false relationships, suspense for her survival and discovery of authentic love at last provides a satisfying conclusion.
What do you want readers to take away from The Dordogne Deception?
In The Dordogne Deception we discover that decisions made during a time of vulnerability can be lethal. We all make mistakes and we are all vulnerable when we are hurting. Genuine love requires honest self-appraisal, trust and integrity.
How did you learn about the topic?
The Dordogne Deception was inspired by extensive travel over many years throughout France, England and Switzerland as well as the familiarity of living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Experiencing a fantasy week in a castle (while the owner handed us the keys and traveled to visit her children) and becoming part of life in quaint French hamlets and villages was a dream vacation.
What would you do differently next time?
I’m blessed to have an editor I adore and can work with collaboratively. Not being able to find an editor in the beginning (one did not show up for a coffee appointment!) was frustrating and I did not want to work with an editor long-distance. I work best side-by-side with an editor who understands me and my writing voice, works to improve that voice, but lets me be myself. Now that I have a strong grasp of the manuscript-to-publication process, writing the second and third books will be much easier because I no longer wake in the middle of the night wondering, “Why am I doing this? Is anyone ever going to read my book?”
What genres-authors do you like to read?
I find that, as an author, I am reading differently now. I read all the time but now find myself analyzing characters, plot and dialogue differently than when I used to read for pleasure. I still enjoy many authors’ works and it’s wonderful to become so engrossed in a book that I’m not thinking about how it’s written. My favorites this past year have been Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours, Lauren Hildebrand’s Unbroken, Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls, Tan Twan Eng’s, The Gift of Rain, Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers, and William Landy’s nail-biter, Defending Jacob. I read everything from romance genre to memoirs (Steve Jobs and Andre Agassi) and I particularly enjoy reading historical biographies (Catherine the Great and Cleopatra), murder/suspense thrillers ( (Ludlum and Grisham). I confess that Nicholas Sparks’ books make me weepy as I am a hopeless romantic myself.
What other interests, causes or passions do you have?
Writing and interior design commissions could easily fill every hour. I’m passionate about life. Each day is a gift and I give thanks for my supportive husband, Jim and my cherished and spoiled senior Westie dogs. We appreciate our many friends in El Dorado Hills and enjoy all that friendship has to offer...dinners, book clubs, and golf outings. As a member of Holy Trinity Church in El Dorado County, one of my greatest satisfactions has been my volunteer work as a bereavement counselor. Serving as a co-facilitator, I learn more than I give during the weighty sessions and I feel privileged to be part of the path of acceptance and growth of those who have suffered such loss. In the process of helping others, I’ve learned a greater compassion and connectedness.
Travel is a shared joy and passion and my husband and I are planning a special trip throughout the United States to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I’ve discovered that, living life to the fullest and remaining open to the next experience that beckons---you never know where the next idea for a novel will come from!
Read an except from The Dordogne Deception
“Flipping the wiper switch on so he could see through the mist that had accumulated on the windshield, the car crept along without lights down the long, winding gravel road. Despite his anxiety, he was confident he had orchestrated a flawless crime. It would look like a terrible accident where an old man had lost control of his wheelchair, falling to his tragic death. A death that would benefit him for a long, long time. This was not the first crime he had committed. Money was an addictive, powerful motive and murder was a convenient way of getting it without having to work for a living. As he drove out of the entrance gate, he did not notice the elderly gardener in a dark gray cap and wool coat, standing behind the tall laurel hedges, watching the car depart. The gardener wondered why someone would be driving without headlights in the dark and leaving the grounds at such a late hour.”