I finally started to settle into my life in Florida, though I have still been a little homesick for New York, when I got word that the town government wants to shut down my All-Day Breakfast Café. Apparently, a forgotten zoning regulation means the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. I’ve been considering hanging up my apron and going back to New York, but before I could give up hope on my dream, I stumbled over something shocking in the local swamp; Marcia Steers, dead in the water. Now, I’m determined to make sure justice is brought to the killer and to save my café.
What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?
Even though I was undecided whether or not to stay in Florida, the choice should be mine. I refuse to be pushed out and forced to give up something I’ve worked so hard for. Besides, someone has to make sure Marcia gets justice.
Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?
Never! When my husband deceived me and scammed tons of people out of their fortunes, I was a wreck. I could barely make it through the day sometimes. But like they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?
That would definitely be Detective Hunter Quinn, my best friend’s cousin and my sort of boyfriend. He is determined to keep me safe and wants me as far from this investigation as possible. Unfortunately, I overheard a conversation that won’t allow me to walk away until I know what’s going on and what Hunt’s involvement is.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I am extremely loyal and would do anything to help a friend, which I consider a strength, but I find it hard to trust. I think that’s one of my biggest weaknesses. Having everyone you know turn their backs on you makes it difficult to trust again, but I’m working on it with the help of Savannah and my new friends. Oh, and I am severely arachnophobic, which I’d like to think I’m working on, but…well…yeah.
Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.
When Bradley—my ex—deceived me and hurt so many people, I fell apart. If not for my best friend, Savannah, I’m not sure I would have made it through that time. I was an emotional wreck. Everyone I knew turned their backs on me—some because they didn’t believe I wasn’t involved and others because they feared the repercussions of standing by me. I finally fled to Florida to open my dream café and move on with my life, only to find things there were vastly different from New York. I’m still having a hard time adjusting to critters, tornadoes, and even having friends who stand by your side no matter what. For me, being a self-rescue princess means standing up and moving on no matter how difficult it is, but it also means starting to learn how to trust again, to let other people into your life instead of moving on alone because one man betrayed you.
What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?
Never give up on your dreams!
Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?
As much as I’d like to think I’m hanging up my detective hat to run my café full time once this is over, I have a feeling there’s another problem lurking just around the corner. I know for sure I’d never turn my back on a friend who needed me, so if that’s the case, there will certainly be more sleuthing for me in the future.