I agreed to attend a fancy fundraiser as a favor to Jake Mathias, and it completely turned my life upside down. It sends me on an emotional roller coaster that also affects my family and friends. When there’s a murder, our investigation takes us to Jake’s hometown in Virginia, and some deep, dark secrets are brought to the surface. Before everything is said and done, someone close to all of us dies.
- Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?
No, I never expected to become so involved in murder. And this certainly isn’t my first rodeo, as we say here in Texas. But given the circumstances, with the victim being accused of harassment and assault, it’s a little more personal this time.
- Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?
My boyfriend, T.J.; Jake; my mother; Owen, who’s the sheriff; Gladys, the busybody, but then again, she hates anything I do. And no, detective work is not my normal career. I work for our local newspaper, so I’m naturally going to ask questions about any kind of crime that happens in our town.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Being able to take care of myself in tough situations; willing to help out my family, friends and neighbors (even those who don’t deserve help, like Gladys). My major weakness would be not asking for help for myself when I need it.
- What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?
That when I was at my lowest, my friends were there, and when I’m ready to ask for help, they’ll do what they can for me.
- If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?
“Oops, I Did It Again” by Britney Spears. That would cover me sticking my nose into other people’s business (hazard of the job), as well as any new injury I might incur during the course of my investigations.
- Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?
Things are never quiet for long in Brookdale, so I’m sure I’ll be sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong soon!
Lizzie had to leave as she got a call about a potential hot story happening in her town. I’m going to finish up the interview by asking a few question to her autobiographer Teresa Watson.
- What made you decide to take on such a heart-wrenching topic?
When I started writing this book, it wasn’t my intention for it to become so serious. But one of my beta readers/editors started talking to me about her experiences, and I realized that this was a story that needed to be told. There is such a stigma attached to sexual harassment and sexual assault that no one wants to talk about it, nor do they want to acknowledge that it even happens. But it does happen. The numbers are staggering. What’s even more aggravating is that 98% of the time, the abuser never spends a night in jail or prison. That’s something that needs to change.
- Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.
A strong, confident woman knows when she can handle things by herself, and when she needs to ask for help. Just because you ask for help doesn’t make you weak; it just means that you realize the situation is beyond what you can normally handle. We all have those moments in our lives. It’s how we handle them that defines us.
- What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?
If you have found yourself in a situation like Lizzie went through, it’s not your fault. Do what you can to remove yourself from harm when it is safe for you to do so, and not before. There is help out there, way more than you realize. Yes, you will feel like a victim for a while, but the important thing to remember is YOU ARE A SURVIVOR. And that makes you stronger than anyone else.