Books · Heroine Interviews · mystery

SRP Heroine Interview: Carrie Singleton from Read and Gone

read and gone

READ AND GONE coverPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Recently, my life has been just about perfect. I love being the Clover Ridge Library’s head of programs and events. I have a great boyfriend and wonderful friends. And then my father, whom I haven’t seen in years and happens to be a thief, shows up at my cottage wanting me to help him get his half of a heist of gems from his crooked partner. As if I would ever do anything like that!

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

When my father’s partner-in-crime is found murdered, my father becomes suspect number one. Now crooked as his is, my father is no murderer and I feel obliged to clear his name. I must find those gems before my father or any of the several people searching for them finds them.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Yes, actually, since I helped solve a cold case and a recent murder in my community a few months ago.

Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?

I’d say Lieutenant John Mathers, the police chief of Clover Ridge Police Department, would rather I didn’t get involved in his cases. John is a good friend of my Uncle Bosco and he worries about my safety.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

Some of us have grown up in a dysfunctional family as I did, but that’s no reason to let it interfere with having a wonderful, worthwhile rest of your life. Try not to be bitter; allow yourself to have loving, caring relationships. Unless it would be toxic to let a family member back into your life, be willing to give this person another chance if he/she has changed.

What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

I realized how much I love my father. Growing up, I was very hurt because he was never around, even when he wasn’t in jail. Spending time with him as an adult, I saw that he loves me and shows it as best he can. Much as I’d like it, I cannot expect him to behave like a typical father.

If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

You Can’t Choose the Members of Your Family

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

I intend to continue sleuthing when the need arises. To be perfectly honest, I LOVE sleuthing. It’s challenging and exciting!

 

 

 

 

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Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Gia Morelli from Murder Made to Order

MURDER MADE TO ORDER BANNER 640Murder Made to OrderToday, Gia Morelli is joining us at the Self-Rescue Princess. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life.

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.

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Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Review: Alex “Red” Vlodnachek from Confessions of a Red Herring

CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING BANNER 640CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRINGWelcome, Red. Thank you so much for visiting us at The Self-Rescue Princess. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

I’m Alex Vlodnachek. My best friend, Trip, calls me “Red.” I was a reporter for a D.C. metro daily for a dozen years. Then I followed a higher paycheck to a boutique P.R. firm. Big mistake.

Short version: Boss is a sociopathic slime ball. Big public row with boss. Framed for boss’s murder.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Honestly, at this point, I feel like crime is fighting me.

Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing?

That’s a toss up between my grandmother (Baba) and the killer. Neither one is very happy I’m trying to out a murderer.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Probably that I don’t stop to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. Face it, if I had that kind of mindset, I’d have never gotten into this mess.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

Discovering who really killed my boss. Not for any altruistic motive, like “truth” or “justice,” either. I’m doing this for my own survival. Try finding a new job when you practically have “murder suspect” stamped on your forehead.

What one piece of advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Eat more chocolate.

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

Trouble has a way of following me. Just recently, I took an evening to attend a glamorous cocktail party at the B&B across the street. I was thinking it would be fun. You know, put on a nice dress and enjoy a glass of champagne, a little small talk, a few canapés. Instead, I got pulled into a missing person’s case. And that was before I found a body.

 

Dana Dratch is the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING. A former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer, she’s currently writing the sequel, SEEING RED — which has Alex, Trip, rescue-pup Lucy, and the whole crazy Vlodnachek family going up against spies, art thieves, and a very determined murderer.  

Connect with her at:

Website (and blog): ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17143743.Dana_Dratch

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/dana-dratch

Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/danadratch

 

CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news.

Now she’s the headline.

 

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story

And unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list. And Alex is on it.

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Chloe Sullivan from Separate Ways

separate waysToday, we have Chloe Sullivan stopping by, please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

My husband David vanished ten years ago, and since then I’ve worked hard to rebuild my life. I moved to New York City, got a great job managing an art gallery, and I was just offered the chance to debut my own paintings—if I can finish the gallery expansion on time. But then I found out that David suddenly reappeared, and it’s a huge distraction, you know? Not only is it bringing up a lot of old feelings, but from what little he remembers about last decade, it sounds like I was the one who disappeared. Somehow, I need to deal with that situation without missing my big opportunity.

What made you want your story to be told?

I wanted to show that you can both follow your heart and open it up to another person, too. Love can complicate things, but the right person can bring out strength you never knew you had.

What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

After David disappeared, I spent just about every minute and dollar I had trying to find him. When I was finally broke, I sold the house and moved back in with my parents. At that point, I knew I had to move on. I’ve dreamed of being an artist in New York City since I was a little girl, and as much as I wanted David to share that dream with me, I couldn’t let the fact that he vanished stop me from trying to get there.

In your life, what has empowered you?

My parents have always been very supportive of my art. I almost gave up painting when my plans to go to art school fell through, but they encouraged me to stick with it. David felt guilty that we couldn’t move to New York after college, but he never doubted we would get there someday. His confidence in me, naïve as it was sometimes, stuck with me even after he vanished.

What are strengths and weaknesses?

I’m generally optimistic and I’m not afraid of hard work, but sometimes I rely too much on feeling my way through a problem rather than planning my approach. Hey, it works most of the time!

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

I think it’s about staying true to who you are and what you want, no matter how much your life changes. You have to believe in yourself enough to take chances, and have faith that the people who care most about you will back you up even in the craziest circumstances.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Even if it takes longer than you think it should, even if your life gets turned completely upside down along the way, and even if your dreams change a little over time, keep chasing them. As hard as that can be sometimes, it’s always worth it.

Favorite quote or Bible verse.

“If something’s going wrong, you’re doing the job right.” My dad says that all the time, but I’m not sure whether he made it up or heard it somewhere. He’s in construction, and he hates it when subcontractors take shortcuts. Any job worth doing is going to have its challenges, and to do it right you have to work through them, you know?

Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

Kind of. I’m going to share some of my experiences from the ten years David was missing using an online interactive platform. It’s more of a prologue than a continuation, but I’m excited to tell more about how I got from that awful morning David disappeared to living my dream in New York City.

Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life? 

I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling my friend Emma may have an adventure or two in her future. Since she and David are like siblings—not to mention how much she helped me after he vanished—I’ll probably end up involved somehow!

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Anne Fremont from Chicken Culprit

CHICKEN CULPRIT BANNER 640ChickenCulpritFrontCover_01232018_preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for joining us today, Anne, please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

I’ve moved from the East Coast to a quaint little town in the Colorado mountains. I intend to fix up an old Victorian I’ve bought.

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

I think that every woman has a time in her life when she feels the need for something new. For me, the idea of moving to a new place and starting over couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

I still can’t believe my next door neighbor was killed. I can’t imagine getting involved but Kandi has begged me to help her so I can’t do nothing. It has made my big house a bit scarier at night to be sure.

Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?

You know I’m a smart woman. I’ve had a successful career as a writer and I think you can’t help but think about all the possibilities of what could or did happen. Carson wants me to butt out but I have got to help that sweet kid. No way did Kandi kill Ralph and I’m sticking to my gut. Although it did let me down before …

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a strong woman. I’m a strong woman. Yep, both a strength and weakness. I refuse to back down and I hate depending on others. But I have to say the people in this town are so nice. I know more people here than I did the entire time I lived in the city.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

I had to rescue myself from allowing others to treat me badly. I realize now that I allowed my ex to treat me badly and that will never, ever happen again. It’s made me stronger though and I’ve finally seen that I can stand on my own two feet. I feel confident and excited about my new life as an independent, strong woman.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Don’t put off your dreams in your efforts to please others. Parents, partners, friends or family may be well-meaning, but you’ve got this one life to live. So live it! If you’d rather travel the world versus settle down into a career, then do it. Be the boss of you.

What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

I learned how strong I am. Even through my fear I’ve been forced to move out of my comfort zone to help someone I care about. I do worry about my safety and I’m don’t take stupid risks—okay that one night notwithstanding—I’m determined to find out what happened.

If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

Wow. That’s a toughie. Hmmmm. I know that some of the things I’ve experienced should have made me bitter. But I chose to be better and use them as a learning experience.  So since I’ve moved to Colorado I’ll have to go with Rocky Mountain High by John Denver. I came home to a place I’d never been before.

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

Well, Sheriff Carson has made it clear I need to stop sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong but you know, he does call me Nancy Drew, so he must see that I’m a good at sleuthing. You know that Kandi, Faith and I have talked about starting a bed and breakfast. We’ll have lots of folks visit from all over and learn different things. The first class will be about tinctures and cordials and who knows, a killing may occur.

 

 

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Britta Johnson from Natural Thorn Killer

NATURAL THORN KILLER TOUR BANNER 640natural thorn killer coverVisiting us today, is Britta Johnson. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

After working a dead-end job and suffering through years and years of life with a deadbeat husband, one fateful bouquet of stale, store bought roses led me to shake up my entire world and move home to Portland, Oregon to help my Aunt Elin run her artisan flower shop, Blooma. It’s the best decision I have ever made, except for one minor detail: murder. Someone began leaving dead, black roses on Blooma’s doorstep. At first, we didn’t give it much thought. But then things took a turn for the worse. I arrived at the flower shop early one morning to find Frank Jaffe, a local real estate developer who had set his sights on Blooma’s highly desirable riverfront property, stabbed to death.

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

I didn’t have a choice. Things looked bad for Aunt Elin from the moment I found the body. First, there was the sticky issue of the fact that her signature pruning shears had been stabbed into Frank’s chest. Then there was the fact that his body was found at Blooma, and that she was one of the last people to see him alive. To compound matters, she and Frank had had a nasty fight the night before. She made it clear (in front of an audience of her fellow business owners) that she would do whatever it took to ensure that Frank didn’t get his greedy hands on anyone’s property in our tight-knit village. I knew from the moment that the police arrived on the scene that Aunt Elin was there top suspect. I also knew that there was no chance that my beloved aunt had anything to do with the crime.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

It means that I’m responsible for planting the seeds to my own garden. I’m responsible for tilling the dirt, for working the soil, for watering and watching as my life takes bloom.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Listen to your intuition. It will never steer you wrong. My inner voice had been nudging me gently for years, but I pushed it aside. I trudge on in an unhappy marriage and job. I wish I had listened to my intuition early on. It might have saved me heartache. It definitely would have led me to follow my passion much, much sooner.

What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

To fully embrace the moment. I had quieted my desires. I set them aside in favor of a “safe” life. Only safe for me, meant being miserable. Even despite the challenges of helping Elin manage the shop, rediscovering my floral roots, and being chased down by a crazed killer, I wouldn’t trade any experience I’ve had since returning to Portland. Living a fully realized and creative life means taking risks. I’ve learned that the risk is always worth it.

If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

Some Say Love/The Rose

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

I love my new life in the Rose City. Things are just beginning to bud when it comes to taking over Blooma and creating gorgeous, hand-crafted bouquets and bountiful blooms for our customers. I wasn’t planning to dabble in sleuthing again, but when Elin and I were asked to design the showcase float for Portland’s annual Rose Festival, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The Rose Festival is Portland’s grandest celebration with dragon boat races, a carnival, starlight parade, the Run for the Roses, and the biggest flower event of the year—The Grand Floral Parade. We were thrilled to be chosen as the premiere float designer. This was the chance of a lifetime. But, threats from an anarchist group, Dark Fusion, might derail our plans and cancel the entire parade. While Elin and I tried to concentrate on gluing delicate seeds onto our float, protests erupted on Portland’s streets and one of the members of Dark Fusion.

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Josie Callahan from Cinco de Murder

CINCO DE MURDER BANNER 640

cinco de murder coverWelcome to The Self-Rescue Princess, Josie, please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

It’s Cinco de Mayo in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping! Senora Marisol Martinez, my feisty abuela, the staff at Milagro–our family restaurant–and even my spunky Chihuahua Lenny are prepping for the best fiesta yet. Not to mention, we’re polishing our folklórico dances for Saturday’s big Cinco de Mayo parade.

This year my uncle, Eddie Martinez, is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot’s First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off. But his hopes of impressing the town council will soon go up in smoke when a cantankerous contestant is found dead in his tent. And when my beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, Lenny, Detective Quint Lightfoot, and I must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead’s life–before another cook kicks the bucket.

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

Funny you should ask because I’m always asking myself the very same thing! Truth is, ever since I was laid off from my job at the Austin Gazette, I’ve been trying to prove myself as a reporter. We only have one newspaper in our county, The Broken Boot Bugle. When I arrived back home after being laid off and abandoned at the altar by my fiasco of a fiancé, I just knew the Bugle’s editor would be glad to offer me a job. Boy was I wrong. I’ve had to prove myself as a crime reporter at every turn. And honestly, I feel it’s my civic and professional duty to investigate a murder on my turf. Of course, that’s a sticking point between me and the Big Bend County Sheriff’s Department.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Nah. I pictured myself living in Austin in a trendy apartment in Travis Heights, working at the Gazette, and settling down with a handsome musician.

Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?

You’ve heard of the old boy network, right? If I had to guess, I’d say the Big Bend County Sheriff’s Department invented it. And the least pleased about my detective work would be Sheriff Mack Wallace, who’s as smooth as sweet tea until you wriggle your way into his investigation.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Hm. I’m not too big on self-analysis; but I’ll give her a shot. I’m curious, stubborn, and big-hearted when it comes to digging my family and friends out of trouble. My weaknesses…and this is embarrassing…Tex-Mex, margaritas, and trying to dig my family and friends out of trouble!

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

That’s easy. Don’t hate yourself when your two-timing fiancé dumps you for a new life in Australia. His loss! Do be thankful for your family, even if they do smother you a bit and chomp at your Wranglers for you to find a better job. And don’t give up on your career dreams even if your editor thinks you’re better suited to working in classifieds and obituaries.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Take pride in who you are: your family, your talents, and the challenges you’ve overcome and those you have left to conquer. And go easy on criticizing your looks. As they say somewhere in the good book, God doesn’t make mistakes. Finally, I’d end with this: There’s only one life and one of you. Grab the reins and enjoy the ride!

What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

Challenges knock you down, pick you up, wear you out, and make you strong; but if you embrace the challenges of life, one day you’ll look in the mirror and recognize yourself as not only a get-her-done and don’t-take-no-for-an-answer kind of woman, but a beautiful creation with a unique purpose on this earth.

If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. Enough said!

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

Even though I’ve developed an uncanny knack for solving crimes, I still don’t know what’s coming around the corner. If you enjoy a margarita of murder with a sweet, humorous sugar rim, check out my other investigations like Here Today, Gone Tamale—my first outing as a small-town sleuth, and The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole—my second attempt at righting injustice in small town Texas.