Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews, mystery

SRP Heroine Interview: Emmeline Prather from Passport to Murder

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passport_murder_3001. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Finally, I was about to take a spring break worth repeating at faculty meetings. André Duman (a hunky French professor) and I were taking a group of students and colleagues abroad to Paris, France. 13 to be exact. Being superstitious, I worried the number might not bode well for travel, but I never thought murder would ensue before I uttered my first bonjour. But it did, and I was left with an unstamped passport and a crime to solve.

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

I knew I couldn’t leave the solution to the police department. First of all, the detectives were too busy with other crimes; second, they couldn’t solve the murder from a distance; and third, their only suspect was André Duman, my good friend and colleague. When we arrived back at Copper Bluff, it was up to me to solve the case. I knew the people on the trip; I started there. My sleuthing was risky (considering my untenured status), but it paid off.

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No, never. In fact, I thought living in a small college town, buried in books, would keep me as far away from crime as possible. Who knew being an English professor could be so dangerous?

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

The chair of the English Department, Jim Giles, is not pleased with my sleuthing. He thinks all my spare time should be spent grading papers. But the truth is a girl cannot live on papers alone, especially those written by freshmen.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a passionate researcher, which helps when it comes to figuring out these perplexing cases. I also care deeply about my students and the campus of Copper Bluff. I’d do anything to keep it crime free. Unfortunately, I’m also a bit idealistic, which makes dating—and anything else that requires aggressive compromise—hard. Reading historical romance novels hasn’t helped, but despite what Lenny Jenkins (my dearest professor friend and sidekick) says, I refuse to give them up. After all, he has similar dating problems and has never read a romance in his life.

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

I would repeat the best advice a professor once gave me: don’t be afraid of something because it’s hard. Sometimes the most challenging endeavors prove to be the most rewarding.

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

I learned life is about the journey, not the destination. Although I didn’t get to France, my lifelong dream, I did get justice for my colleague. Besides, Lenny and I did share a bottle of wine from France, and I have the feeling that what happened between us might prove very important to my future.

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

Lenny says it would be “Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles, but he’s a Beatles fanatic. He has all their records. I think “Girl on Fire” is more fitting, but he says it’s just these questions bringing out the feminist in me.

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

As we all know, the holidays can be murder, but I didn’t think they’d involve a real murder. I thought the only problem facing me in December would be the weight gain from Mrs. Gunderson’s fudge. I guess even professors can be wrong sometimes. Just don’t tell my students.

Author links:

www.MaryAngelaBooks.com

www.facebook.com/maryangelabooks

www.twitter.com/maryangelabooks

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Angela/e/B01GPB96CK/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/passport-to-murder-mary-angela/1126605280

 

Bio:

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. For more information about Mary or the series, go to MaryAngelaBooks.com.

 

 

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Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Paisley Sutton from Engaged in Trouble

engaged in trouble large banner640I’d like to thank my readers for stopping by today. We have Paisley Sutton visiting with us.

Engaged-in-Trouble-Kindle1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

I shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later, let me tell you, that star has fizzled out, just like my bank account. When I unexpectedly inherit my aunt’s wedding planning business, I leave the glamor of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking I’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, I’m shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. I’ve got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if I want to sell and rekindle my music career with the profits.

I’m tossed into a world of vows and venues, but my most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to me as the prime murder suspect. And I do not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of my gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and my handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear my good name. As me and my unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, I’ll discover the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer I get to the truth, the more my own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before I can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” I’ve got to unveil a killer. Or find myself the next target.

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

Desperate things happen when you hit rock bottom and go totally broke. My pop career’s in the toilet, and it’s gonna take money to get back in and reinvent myself. It was a total surprise when I learned I’d inherited my great-aunt’s weird little wedding planning business, but now that this Arkansas small town has reinvented itself, downtown properties bring in some serious cash. So my plan was to run the business long enough to fulfill the will demands, then sell and get back to Los Angeles as quickly as possible. What could possibly go wrong?

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Never! But I also never imagined myself the prime suspect in a murder. If these are typical happenings at rock bottom, I’m totally ready to climb back up. I’ll do anything to clear my name, so I’m lucky I have my grandmother and her sidekick on my team, who ladies who are newly retired CIA and bored enough to cause some serious trouble.

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

My parents are these Tony Robbins motivational-type speakers who travel the world. My two siblings are total brainiacs. And then there’s me—the artist, the mess-up, the one who just can’t compete. Or can I? My parents are definitely not on board with my new career choice of event planner or my attempt to Jessica Fletcher my way out of a murder conviction, but I’ve got just enough of my grandma’s wild streak in me to see this through and prove my innocence.

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

Look, I can’t go to prison. I look terrible in stripes. A bridezilla dropped dead while in my care at Enchanted Events, and everyone assumes I did it. Yes, she might’ve been engaged to my former fiancé, a man who left me at the altar once upon a time. And yes, I might’ve threatened him when I came back to town. But I wouldn’t kill anyone. (Though she was obnoxious and has a lot of enemies.)  With a CIA hero of a grandma, I’ve been raised to be independent and resourceful. Plus desperation makes me scrappy. It might be all I need to solve this case.

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

Don’t threaten ex-fiancés. At least not in public. With witnesses. One minute I’m shooting my mouth off, and the next I’m trapped in a bad Lifetime movie.

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

That I’m tougher than I thought. After losing my pop career and all my money, I kind of went in a spiral of depression. Coming home to Sugar Creek was the last thing I wanted to do, but it was exactly what I needed. I needed the support of my family and to reground myself in my roots. I also learned the boys you couldn’t stand as a kid might grow up to be hunky men who help you out when you need it most.

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

My band the Electric Femmes had a number one hit with songs like “Tutti, Fruity— My Boo’s Got a Fine Bootie,” but that’s never seemed very relevant to any life moment I’ve ever encountered. I guess I’d say “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Being accused of murder has made a fighter out of me for sure. And it’s time to take back my life and not be a “Where Are They Now” type of pop star. No more washed up rock princess for me.

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

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

I sure didn’t expect to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat again, but in book two of the Enchanted Events series, Royally in Trouble, my good friend, war hero, and resident hottie Beau Hudson finds himself under suspicion when his estranged uncle comes to town with the Renaissance faire and turns up dead. I can’t let all my new found sleuthing skills go to waste, can I? Royally in Trouble will be out in mid-August, and it’s a lot of medieval, Southern fun.

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Antonia Bingham from Death on West End Road

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Visiting us today is Antonia Bingham.

death on west end road1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

In August 1993, Long Island’s East End was shocked by the murder of 16- year-old Susie Whitaker at the oceanside mansion of one of its wealthiest residents: billionaire pharmaceutical heir Ambassador Gerald Framingham. Susie was found bludgeoned to death on the tennis court, her head pounded by a tennis racket, her body crumpled. The number one suspect? Susie’s best friend Pauline Framingham, the Ambassador’s daughter. Money, clout, power and prestige caused this case to disappear, and Susie’s murder to remain unsolved. Until now.

I’m Antonia Bingham, and I plan on finally bringing Susie’s killer to justice 24 years after her untimely demise.  After two bouts of crime solving (DEATH ON WINDMILL WAY, DEATH ON LILY POND LANE) I thought my days dabbling in death were behind me. But how can I resist stepping back in time and uncovering the truth when the number one suspect in the case—Pauline Framingham—hires me to do just that? As I set out to investigate the case—with the help of my trio of friends: critically acclaimed novelist Joseph Fowler, crime beat reporter Larry Lipper, and store manager Genevieve Dwyer—I discover that life amongst the rich may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Working through the list of suspects, one keeps coming to the forefront as the leading one: Pauline Framingham. Did she only hire Antonia to amuse herself? Or is she innocent? Do rich people have to play by the rules? I’ve got to find out.

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

First and foremost I felt a lot of compassion for the victim, Susie Whitaker, who was killed when she was only sixteen years old and the crime was never solved. I felt for her family and her mother who is now dying and wishes to see her daughter’s killer brought to justice. Additionally, once I have been challenged to solve a puzzle it is very difficult for me to back down. I’m an inquisitive person (okay, some would say nosy) so I am pretty relentless in interviewing people until I receive the information I need. I like to think I have a soft touch, though. Just keep people talking and eventually they will tell you what you want to know. That’s how I investigated this crime. 

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Not at all! But then, my life has taken many twists and turns that I didn’t expect. I married a strong handsome police officer many years ago and had no idea that he was a violent and abusive person. I was confused and never thought I would have the strength to walk away but I did. I think sometimes you don’t know what grit you are made of but once you really test yourself to do something difficult and challenging you can do anything. And for me, attempting to solve crimes is totally based out of a naïve belief that I can do anything. I have no formal training, I’m not a cop, the closest I am is a fan of crime fiction, but what do you know, I already have a few solved cases under my apron. 

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

The least pleased are probably the local police who would like me to mind my business and stay out of theirs! I am an innkeeper and I also am the head chef of the restaurant in the inn, so sleuthing is a part time gig. I’d like to say that my kitchen staff would prefer to have me in the kitchen but they actually do pretty well without me!

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I like to start with the positive so I will say I think I’m a good listener. I like to hear people’s stories; I like to chat with people and meet new people; that’s why I really enjoy owning an inn and running a restaurant. I’m an extrovert. I think I probably meddle too much in things that have little to do with me and I can be quite nosy sometimes so that is definitely a weakness. I also have no self-control when it comes to food, particularly sweets and carbs, and oh yes, a nice gooey cheese platter. 

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

I would like to think of myself as a self-rescue princess! When I was in my bad marriage it really was up to me to pull myself out of it, and I finally did. Even though I had a great family and friends and a real support system, it was only me who could ultimately save myself. I guess when I hear the word ‘rescue’ I think of it as one person helping another, so I probably would be a self-save princess. And you don’t become a strong, confident woman overnight. I had to work on myself and believe in myself—that I was worthy of love and friendships; that I was a good enough cook to own a restaurant—before I became that woman.

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

Be a mentor. It’s important to help other women—or men—rise up in the profession you have chosen. Sheila Widnall, who was the first female Secretary of the Air Force once said in a commencement address: “As you make your way up the corporate ladder, don’t pull it up behind you.” I find that to be very sound advice.

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

During my latest attempt at crime solving I realized that I had made some truly great friends in East Hampton, the town I moved to only three years ago. From my friend Joseph, the acclaimed historical novelist, to Larry Lipper, the annoying but dogged crime reporter for the local newspaper, to my staff at the inn, there are people I can rely on who really care about me. 

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

“I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. I have survived a bad man and some bad times so it has given me hope. It’s such a positive message, and with all the murder I’m getting mixed up in, it’s a good mantra.

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

I always say the next case is the last, but I know I’ll be solving crimes in the Hamptons until they stop happening.

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Lyssa Pennington from Stuck

 

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stuck book cover1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Fritz Van Derzee got himself in trouble when he told the world he planned to clear his name of an old embezzlement scheme at Tompkins College, where I’m an economics professor. Fritz’s daughter, Emma, was one of my students last year, and she pleaded with me to help her dad but, let’s face it, whoever actually embezzled the millions from the college was not going to sit back and let Fritz track them down. I had no desire to get involved, and I thought Fritz was crazy for putting himself at risk like that.

Then my husband, Kyle, started wondering if he could recreate the old accounting system and figure out how the millions went missing and who was responsible. I desperately tried to talk him out of it, but it was no use. When he gets on the scent of a computer puzzle, there’s no stopping him.

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

How could I not get involved once Fritz was murdered and Emma was named the prime suspect? I knew Fritz was not an embezzler, and I knew Emma loved her dad. So Kyle and I joined forces to find the killer and the money.

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Never! When I met Kyle a few years ago, all I wanted was to marry him, have a career of my own, and have babies with him. To be honest, that’s still what I want. But both of us believe in justice and fairness, and I work at a college that’s got a history of dirty dealings. Our college president is also Kyle’s good friend, Justin Cushman, and he’s committed to rooting out all the bad guys and making the college an honorable institution of higher learning. Kyle and I both support that ambition.

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

The bad guys, for sure. Together, Kyle and I have exposed a drug dealer on campus, solved an old disappearance that turned out to be murder, and now we’re working hard to recover ten million dollars and identify embezzler and Fritz’s murderer. Actually, there’s one more person who’s unhappy about our extracurricular activities, and that’s State Trooper Hank Moran. Hank appreciates our help, and it’s pretty clear he wouldn’t have solved the cases without it, but he’s worried we’re going to mess up his investigation or, worse, get ourselves killed on his watch.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m brainy and funny. I’m a good actress, so I might look cool under pressure but, trust me, I get panic attacks with no warning.

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

I love that phrase! To me, it means doing the right thing even when you’re scared. It means using your brain and anything you can put your hands on to defend yourself when you’re life’s on the line. And it means putting yourself at risk to save the life of someone you care about.

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

Think for yourself, but act in concert with others who have similar goals. Hard problems are rarely solved by one person alone.

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

Oh my gosh, you’ll think I’m crazy. In Stuck, I finally make my debut as Kyle’s corporate wife. I was terrified to do it, so I enlisted a friend to put together the wardrobe for my first gig (in Iceland, if you can believe it). However, I forgot to schedule a haircut and manicure before my flight to Reykjavik. I showed up looking like a shaggy dog. The client’s wife took pity on me and volunteered her stylist to make me over. Seriously, you can go a long way on the strength of your personality, but don’t forget to dress and look the part.

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

This is a real oldie, and you may not even know it. Aretha Franklin sang it, “I Say a Little Prayer for You.” I was always saying little prayers for my sister, Manda, and me. We had a tough childhood and we were apart all through college and after for a few years. And I still do it, say little prayers all the time, for Kyle and for myself and the people we love.

 

Posted in Books, Craft, Excerpt, Scrapbooking

A Scrapping Moment from Masked to Death

masked-to-death-cover-frontSince May is National Scrapbooking Month, I’m sharing a small scrapbooking moment from Masked to Death.

Excerpt:

Ronnie’s confession shook me. I felt off-kilter. A scrapbooking class was being held on deck six, so I headed there, needing to clear my mind while I figured out what to do. Scrapbooking calmed me and centered my spirit. I knew this trip would rev up some anxiety, so I bought a travel planner. It was more portable than a scrapbook, yet the same techniques were used for decorating it. Instead of pictures, words were the main focal point. I had brought colored pencils and an array of travel stickers for decorating the pages.

I spotted a crew member pushing a cart loaded down with cruise-themed scrapbooking supplies and followed. Other women and a few men joined our parade to the lounge area in the back of the ship.

“Find a spot while I set up.” The young woman began sorting through the packages of products and stacking them by theme onto a table.

I spotted Garrison sitting at a table in the back, flipping through a book. When I sat down, he closed the leather book about the size of an 8×8 album. The cover was embossed. I tried reading the script font, but he covered the writing with his forearm.

“Here to scrapbook or just looking for some peace and quiet to read?” I asked.

“I’ve wanted to learn some new techniques and now was the perfect time.”

“You and Bob didn’t have anything special planned for this morning?”

“Odessa stopped by this morning to tell Bob the captain wanted to meet with him.”

“About what?”

“I’d rather not know, so I kissed Bob goodbye and told him I’d be here. I’m sure it has something to do with John. I wonder where Ronnie is. She had said she’d meet me here.”

“When did you talk to her?” I doodled in my travel journal.

“At breakfast. Why?”

“Curious,” I said. “No other reason. She might have lost track of time or something unexpected came up.” The captain had issued a gag order. Ronnie said to stay quiet. And here I was blabbing—or almost blabbing, which was just as bad. “This probably isn’t the wedding you dreamed of.”

“The event meant more to Odessa than us, so we caved on pretty much everything. Our only sticking point was no alcohol at the event out of respect and love for Ted, and yet she had the champagne flowing freely, and now we also have John Roget to contend with. I’m not looking forward to him and Odessa coming face to face.”

“He’s stayed away so far.”

“That’s true. Maybe he only came to spend time with Claire and not to stop the wedding. John is a hard one to figure out.”

“He isn’t the only one.”

Garrison’s eyebrows rose. “Do tell.”

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Posted in Books

Release Day: Happy Homicides 5: The Purr-fect Crime

TourBanner_Happy Homicides correctIt’s here! A few months ago, I received an email asking if I’d like to contribute a story to Happy Homicide 5: The Purr-fect Crime fand I was so honored. I was a little sad as the deadline for Altered to Death left me little time to work on a story so I was going to have to decline. Happily, the wonderful editors offered to extend the deadline and I was able to have a short story, The Peculiar Habits of Mister Darcy , included in the anthology. All of the stories in the anthology feature cats and crimes.

The blog tour is from May 8-19. We can be found at the following stops:

May 8: Readeroplis and Rogue’s Angels

May 9: Fabulous and Brunette

May 10: Sharing Links and Wisdom

May 11: Queen of All She Reads and EskieMama Reads

May 12: A Writer’s Life…Caroline Clemmons and Long and Short ReviewsLong and Short Reviews

May 15: Danita Minnis Blog

May 16: Musings From an Addicted Reader

May 17: It’s All About the RomanceIt’s All About the Romance and Hearts and Scribbles

May 18: This and That Book Blog

May 19: The Reading Addict

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick of Till Dirt Do Us Part

till dirt do us part large banner640TDDUP.COVER1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Not everything stays buried. I have a notorious brown thumb but that didn’t stop me from getting volunteered for a gardening contest sponsored by the Pecan Bayou Gazette. All I’m going to say is I found myself digging up more than weeds. I was ridiculed by those thorny garden club ladies, and now my heart is just breaking, for a newly single mom whose world has just collapsed.  The Happy Hinter, that’s me, your friendly neighborhood helpful hints columnist is back! So take some time to revisit the cozy little town Pecan Bayou, Texas. Grab a glass of sweet tea before you turn the dirt in the garden and sit a spell with all your favorite characters who dole out heartfelt caring and compassion with a side of humor.

2. What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor? Come on, gardening isn’t all that risky.

Well, unless you count giant man-eating caterpillars and that ugly rash, you seem to be getting. Really, though I wanted to solve Wade Atwood’s murder for his dear wife. She was just like me. One day married with a child and the next day a single mom. I had been there and wanted to let her know we moms stick together.

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No, not even when I was little and my dad was on the police force. I did see myself fighting ugly yellow build up on white collars though. Does that count?

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

Probably my husband, Leo. He is a handsome meteorologist who likes to be able predict storms on the horizons. I, on the other hand, tend to walk right into bad weather.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I have a great eye for detail. I also make my living finding solutions for people in my helpful hints column. I have so many weaknesses! I’m not good at baking, gardening, and I have decided raising teenagers takes nerves of steel.

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

I give advice for a living and rely on help from others from time to time, but there comes a time when I know the only way to get things done is to do it myself. I think women have a reserve supply of get-er-done that can get them out of anything no matter how dire.

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

Be honest with yourself and don’t give up on your dreams. Those ideas may have to be reshaped here and there and that’s okay. Get up every morning with something to look forward to, whether that’s a job, time with your family, a hobby, or a hot fudge sundae!

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

You never know what’s really going with your friendly neighborhood delivery guy.

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

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You. Living in a small town, there is no such thing as anonymity.

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

I have already had adventures in the first six books of Pecan Bayou. I’ve found bodies in a haunted hospital, in a library, by a cowboy fountain, and have been chased by a killer through a hurricane, while in labor with daughter. Maybe things will settle down now for a while… then again….

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Lacy Marie Crocker from Cat Got Your Cash

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Welcome to the Self-Rescue Princess. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

CatGotCashCoverLacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late inCat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.

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

A lot of things, really. For one, Annie was my hero. I’ve aspired to be like her for years, and I can’t stand that someone did this to her. Annie deserves justice, so I’m seeing to it that she gets exactly that. Also, I’m in a bit of a pinch because I found her body and my prints were on the murder weapon. *chews lip*. My mother is fit to kill me for turning up at another murder scene. As if I had any control over that. The best thing for everyone, I think, is that I get to the bottom of this quickly. Hopefully, quietly. And in one piece.

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

Oh. Easy. Detective Jack Oliver. He’s completely miffed. In total brooding overdrive about this. Then again, I guess that’s kind of his shtick.

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

Chase your dreams. No one’s going to do that for you. Oh, and adopt an animal. You’ll never regret it.

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

I never plan to dabble. It just sort of happens. I mean, I have plenty to do without getting abducted, stalked and shot at, but sometimes I can’t help it. Like, for instance, if my dad was accused of murder (Cat Got Your Secrets, September 2017), I would do everything I could to clear his name.

Posted in Books, Gardening, mystery, Reviews, Self-Rescue Princess

SRP Review: A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson

When I’m working on a mystery book, I steer clear of reading mysteries, so I haven’t read many mysteries over the last year because my downtime between books didn’t leave much time for reading or blogging. After I turned in Altered to Death, the first mystery I picked up was A Muddied Murder by the talented, lovely, and just plain awesome writer and person, Wendy Tyson.

a muddied murderFrom the first paragraph, I fell into the story and savored every word. I loved A Muddied Murder (ebook is currently on sale for 99 cents). The mix of farming, gardening, mystery, and a strong woman dealing with the sadness and joys of life pulled me in and had me rooting for and wanting to be Megan. She is a strong heroine with a mind of her own and doesn’t take the easy answers people give. She stands up for herself, others, and what she knows is right. What I admired about Megan was her ability to navigate the situations without becoming bitter or bullying the answer from people. She was willing at times to pull back in order to give those in her life (like her grandmother) respect and time to reveal their secrets rather than forcing them. I also like how she was willing to accept and forgive others for their faults, knowing that everyone (herself included) make rash decisions at times and can allow hurt to rule our emotions.

To me, Megan from the Greenhouse Mystery Series, exemplifies a self-rescue princess in that she has taken charge of her life. Even though some of her decisions are also based on others, she owns them. She lives her life as a way to grow, learn, and make the world better not as if she has to prove anything to someone or as an apology. Megan is a woman who is determined to live a life of joy no matter the hardships she has faced. I can’t wait to get to know her better in Bitter Harvest (which released today!).

Posted in Books, Craft, mystery, Scrapbooking, Vacations, Writing

Masked to Death has left port

masked-to-death-cover-frontMasked to Death, the fifth book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series, is now out. I went on my first cruise at the end of 2010 and feel in love with this type of vacation. When part of the plot came to me, I started thinking about where to set the book and recalled that in book one, Cropped to Death, Ted mentioned that his mom worked on a cruise ship. My muse said, “Perfect.”, and the story developed from there.

Here’s a short description about Masked to Death:

A Caribbean cruise is the perfect setting for a Roget wedding, and Faith meeting Ted’s family. She also hopes the vacation gets their stalled romance moving, but it doesn’t take long for that dream to capsize. Ted’s daughter hates her. The ex-wife is adored. Odessa Roget is surly. And the banned father of a groom, John Roget, requests Faith’s assistance in bringing down a jewel theft ring masterminded by his ex-wife.

Having had a man she loved accuse her of a crime, Faith won’t let Odessa travel down the same path and agrees to help. Faith sets her course on uncovering the true criminals—which might be a groom’s best friend. The romantic week turns disastrous as a wedding is interrupted, suspicious deaths point to murders, and Ted’s daughter schemes to reunite her parents. Instead of diamonds being a girl’s best friend, Faith finds they’re cruising her toward Davy Jones’ Locker.

Over the next few weeks, you can find me (or Masked) visiting a few places in cyber world where I’ll be answering some questions, talking about creating a travel journal and a fictional cruise, and where some readers will let you  know a little bit more about Masked to Death. I hope you can stop by.

January 25 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post, Vacation Time With Faith Hunter

January 27 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

January 28 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST, Creating a Cruise 

January 29 – Brooke Blogs – INTERVIEW

January 30 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

January 31 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 1 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

February 2 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST, Travel Journal

February 3 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

February 4 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, Scrapbooking and Murder

February 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy Too! – Excerpt (shopping on a cruise) from Masked to Death

February 6 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

February 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW