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

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SRP Heroine Interview: Kristan “Stan” Connor from Custom Baked Murder

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Thank you for coming by the Self-Rescue Princess today to visit with Stan.

custom-baked-murder-1Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

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

I sort of had no choice. I mean, this was my former coworker. My sister found her body and she couldn’t deal with it. My boyfriend’s sister is investigating the crime. My mother and her shady future husband are under suspicion because it’s their house. I mean, like it or not, I’m all in!

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No way! I came to Frog Ledge to get away from drama, not get deeper into it. But things happen and you have to do what you have to do, I guess. And when people I love could be in trouble, I don’t care what the risks are – I’m going to do what I can to help them.

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

I think the least-pleased prize is a toss-up between my boyfriend, Jake McGee, and his sister, Jessie Pasquale, the Frog Ledge resident state trooper. Jake because he doesn’t like to think of me putting myself in danger, and Jessie because she hates when I stick my nose into her work. Although she has to admit I’ve helped her out on more than one occasion now….

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

Believe in yourself. Listen to your intuition and always do what YOU think is right. You’ll never go wrong that way.

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

Well, I never plan on more sleuthing, but it just happens… The next story I get to tell you about involves a Christmas tree lighting, some hot cider, a dead Santa and a missing family member! Stay tuned for Purring Around the Christmas Tree, out next holiday season!

If you’d like to read more of Stan’s story, you can find the book at

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

 

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SRP Heroine Interview: Sophia Marcil from Temple of Indra’s Lies

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Happy New Year! I’m starting the year off with introducing you to two fabulous heroines–one today and one tomorrow. Today, let’s get to know Sophia Marcil.

liesPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Sure, I’m just you’re typical boring old book loving librarian. Okay, well former-librarian turned time traveler…perhaps not so boring at all. Boring would make for a nice change. I am looking forward to a shiny new beginning. My fiancé proposed recently, unfortunately, someone tried to kill us before the rehearsal dinner so we didn’t quite make it legal, but we plan to. My nemesis is six feet under so that’s good news. Now we’re off to India to return the cursed sapphire to the temple where it belongs, that way I’ll be free to settle into the next chapter of my life—a new bookshop and wedded bliss in Dublin, Ireland with Cullen O’Kelley. There is one small problem, you see the mysterious temple seems to have sent me into the past once again, more specifically, into the body of the soon to be murdered bride of Dunlace Castle.

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

Well, it wasn’t so much a decision I made as the curse. It’s always sending me on these random deadly trips through time when I least expect it. Perhaps I should explain. You see, my great grandmother passed her sapphire jewels down to me and along with them came this annoying ability to slip through time and into my problematic past lives. The jewels also came complete with a stalker hell-bent on murdering me and everyone I love. So, after three lives now, I’m just trying to survive as a modern day woman. You can imagine how that’s going.

 Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Definitely not. I’m a former librarian for goodness sake. I hand out fines for unruly behavior. However, you can only be attacked so many times before you learn to fend for yourself.

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

I learned that you can’t always judge a book by a cover. My nemesis turned out to be someone very close to me. I didn’t see that coming at all. I hope to never be blind-sided again, unfortunately there’s a fourth book so I doubt I will get my wish.

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

Heck no. I plan to open up a bookshop in Dublin, and focus on my family. I am tired of fighting bad guys. Of course there was this thing that happened where this psychic predicted I would have a daughter in the future and she would become a dark and powerful witch—so fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

If you’d like to get to know Sophia better, you can get her story at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

 

Guest Post by Anna Celeste Burke

gnarly-new-year-large-banner640Art romantic sea beach. Women's Glasses and Champagne cork on sa

In this short sketch, my characters from Gnarly New Year, Brien and Kim, talk about the night they decided to get married.

THE PROPOSAL

Kim: “Okay, Brien, we’re going to play a game of Truth or Dare only without the Dare part. More like Truth or Chore–I’m going to ask you questions, and you have to tell me the truth or do an extra chore, and I get to choose the one you do.”

Brien: “Uh, I guess that’s okay. Why?”

Kim: “A married couple should know things about each other, shouldn’t they?”

Brien: “Sure, but I know things about you already, or I wouldn’t have married you when you suggested it.”

Kim: “I suggested it? As I recall, you’re the one who said we shouldn’t keep driving back and forth from Palm Springs, where I live, to Indio where you lived.”

Brien: “Yes, but that’s when you said, ‘are you asking me to marry you or do you just want permission to move your surfboard onto my patio?’ I got the message behind the sarcasm, Gidget.”

Kim: “Oh, Moondoggie, it was romantic when you got down on one knee in the moonlight, with the palm trees swaying, and the Ventures playing in the background.”

Brien: “Yeah, just like a scene from one of those old beach movies you love. Except for the part about the beach since we were in your backyard in the desert instead of on the beach.”

Kim: “I know what you mean, Brien. You don’t always have to explain yourself to me.”

Brien: “A lot of the time I do.”

Kim: “Ah, that’s part of your charm and only one reason I love you. You’re one of the first people I ever met who cared as much as you do that I understand you. I was surprised when you pulled out that ring! How did you know I was going to bring up marriage that night?”

Brien: “Uh, okay so here’s the truth—no extra chore. I had been carrying that ring around for a month. Ever since Peter went with me and helped me pick it out. I just couldn’t work up the courage to ask you right away. A couple of times I came close, but I wimped out on you.”

Kim: “Geez, am I that scary? Truth or Chore, remember?”

Brien: “You can be scary. Not so much anymore because I get that it’s a mechanical defense. You get snarky when you’re scared.”

Kim: “I could be wrong, but I think you mean defense mechanism, don’t you?”

Brien: “Could be, but see? That’s what I’m saying. I got too close to the truth, and it scared you. Are you sure you want to play this game?”

Kim: “Yes. My turn to tell the truth. The way I said that it did sound snarky, didn’t it? I do use sarcasm even when I don’t mean to do it. It’s a reflex. And scary? Yeah, I get that. Sarcasm is a shield I put up and sometimes it comes across more like a sword than a shield.”

Brien: “You don’t need shields or swords around me. I won’t ever hurt you.”

Kim: “I want to believe you. But old habits are hard to kick.”

Brien: “That’s why the say ‘old habits die old,’ Kim.”

Kim: “They don’t actually say that, but I get it. So, am I the only one who didn’t know you had bought that ring a month before we got engaged?”

Brien: “The truth, again—yes. I wanted to make sure you’d like it, so I checked it out to make sure it was cool enough for you. Remember when Bernadette baked those Mexican Wedding cookies?”

Kim: “No way! She said she was testing them out for Tommy’s wedding. I’m going to have to play Truth or Chore with her, now, too.”

Brien: “Uh, you might not want to do that. She’s had lots of practice making people do chores. She was my boss when I was the pool guy, remember? Bernadette could give you some bogus ones. Jessica could too.”

Kim: “I figured Jessica was in on it. She went around for a couple of weeks with that ‘I-know-something-you-don’t-know’ look on her face. When we showed up, and I was wearing that ring, her expression suddenly made sense. So no one was surprised by our announcement? They seemed surprised.”

Brien: “When I first told him my plans, Peter was speechless. He hardly said one word the entire time it took us to drive to the jewelry store to pick out the ring. Bernadette, not so much. You know how she is with her special powers. Betsy’s like that, too. When Peter told her the news, she just smiled and nodded. Spooky. Tommy and Laura almost hit the floor, though. That night when we gave them the scoop, they were surprised, alright.”

Kim: “Why?”

Brien: “Because an awesome babe like you said yes to an ordinary dude like me. You know?”

Kim: “You want the truth, Brien?”

Brien: “Of course. You know what Bernadette says, ‘Even the worst truth is better than the best lie.’ Let me have it.”

Kim: “Brien Williams, there is nothing ordinary about you in any way. You are the sweetest, hunkiest dude I have ever met in my entire life. When you flashed that ring, I was totally stoked, as you like to say. You’ve changed my life forever, Moondoggie. You’re right that love is the most excellent adventure of all.”

Brien: “I like this game. Your turn.”

~~~~~

Thanks for reading this post! You’ll find much more of Brien and Kim in the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series. Their adventures as newlywed sleuths start with Cowabunga Christmas and continue in Gnarly New Year.  A spin-off from the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series, that’s where Brien and Kim first make an appearance. There are good reasons for their friends in that series to be surprised that these two lovebirds became a couple. I hope you’ll join them on all their adventures. Coming next: Epic Easter, Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery #3.

SRP Heroine Interview: Amy Flowers from the Calamity Cafe

CALAMITY CAFE  large banner640Today, I’m chatting with Amy Flowers. How are you today? Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

The Calamity Cafe (1)I’m so excited to be opening up my own café! Right now, we’re undertaking some major renovations—we being me, my cousin Jackie, one of our favorite regulars, and my lifelong friend Roger and his construction crew. When we get done, the Down South Café is going to be beautiful!

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

Well, I’d been dreaming of opening my own café for a long time. When my nana died last year, she left me enough money to make my dream come true. After culinary school, I came back home to Winter Garden because Nana was sick and I wanted to be close in case she needed me. I went to work at Lou’s Joint (the café I bought and am renovating), but that woman was a horrible bully. I was eager to get myself and my cousin out of that place as soon as possible.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Never. In fact, I don’t suppose I’d have ever even considered it had I not gone in the café that evening and found Lou Lou Holman—my former boss—slumped over her desk. I didn’t realize it at first, but she was dead. Now, of course, I’m a suspect in her murder, so I have to find out who really did it or I—and my new café—are toast!

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

I don’t imagine my mother is very thrilled about it. And, come to think of it, Deputy Ryan Hall—who’s very easy on the eyes, by the way—doesn’t seem to like my poking my nose in where he doesn’t think it belongs either. But how else am I going to find out who killed Lou Lou? Deputy Hall says to let the police do their jobs, but where’s the harm in my helping out? Besides, criminals get defensive around police officers. They’re more likely to open up around us “normal” people.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a hard worker, an excellent chef, a devoted friend/family member, and I’m dedicated to the café patrons. I’d say my biggest weakness is that I have a tendency to take in strays. I’m not sure I’d call that a weakness, though. Jackie thinks I’m a pushover. But I only have the one dog…and the cat—who technically belongs to Mom and wasn’t a stray.

Here’s the thing: the morning after Lou Lou was killed, the café was closed while the police investigated the crime scene. Well, poor Homer Pickens comes in every morning at ten o’clock to get his sausage biscuit; so when the café was closed, he came to my house and asked me to fix it for him. Then Dilly Boyd heard the news and she came to the house to ask if I’d make lunch. So I made lunch for her and a few of her friends. But that’s not being a pushover, right? That was learning firsthand what it would be like to cook for a group of patrons—not friends or family. And it was giving a few older people their daily social interaction. They need that.

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

It means you can do whatever you put your mind to. Set your goals, write them down, revisit them on a regular basis, and make them happen.

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

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. You can—and will—achieve your dreams.

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

I’m stronger than I realized I was.

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

“Walking on Sunshine”

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

I wasn’t planning on it, but I have a bad feeling that something bad is going to happen to Mr. Lincoln. He’s the Chamber of Commerce president, and he stirs up trouble everywhere he goes. (Stay tuned for book two—SILENCE OF THE JAMS!)

 

SRP Heroine Interview: Winnie Johnson from Eclair and Present Danger

ECLAIR AND PRESENT DANGER    large banner640I’m excited today to have Winnie Johnson joining us at the Self-Rescue Princess.

ECLAIR AND PRSENT DANGERWinnie, please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

For as far back as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do was bake.  The process of mixing ingredients together to make something delicious was pretty amazing all on its own. But when your creation got a moan of delight out of someone? That was the best. So you could say it was the realization of a lifelong dream when I opened my own bakery, Delectable Delights.

Things were going great until Nick Batkas, my bakery’s landlord raised the rent so high there was no way I could stay in business.

That is until I got word that my dear sweet neighbor, Gertrude Redenbacher named me in her will.

Yes, I admit I was imagining an envelope of cash—just enough to keep my dream alive.

But Gertie didn’t leave me money.

Instead, she left me her cat, Lovey (who loves everyone but me), and the vintage ambulance her late husband was restoring prior to his own death.

So yeah, good bye lifelong dream.

As you can imagine, I was rather down in the dumps when I left the bakery that last day, but I had to keep my emotions at bay until I made good on a promise to another late friend. You see, once a week, I make and deliver a peach pie to Bart Wagner, my neighbor across the street. He’s been having a tough time lately on account of losing his wife of nearly fifty years.

So I made the pie.

And walked it across the street and into Bart’s house.

I hated going into his house like that, but when he didn’t answer, and the door was unlocked, I went inside. You know, just to make sure he was okay.

That’s when I found him on the floor—dead, suffocated with one of his own pillows.

I have to do something, don’t I? About my bakery and Bart.

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

Bart and his wife, Ethel were my neighbors and my friends. Losing Ethel was hard. She was like a second grandmother to me. I promised her I’d look after Bart with a peach pie every week. And I was doing that. Just like I promised. But seeing him like that? Murdered in his own home? It made me mad (after I screamed, of course).

I live on a street of elderly people—elderly people I adore. And to see them afraid for their life because a murderer is on the loose, isn’t okay with me.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Um, no. I’m a baker, not a fighter.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Hmmm…

I would say my strength and my convictions go hand in hand. I know what I like and I don’t change that for anyone. I’m loyal to a fault (as evidenced by the cat who is now living with me) and I’m respectful of the fact that I need to bake. It makes me whole.

As far as my weaknesses, my confidence (in terms of dating) isn’t too high. I think I’m just content with the company my elderly neighbors and my best friend, Renee provide. Or maybe that’s just a cop out…

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

For me, being a self-rescue princess means not needing a man to complete me. It means listening to my gut. And it means believing in myself and my abilities.

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

Right now? I’d have to say that old song, Roll With It Baby by Steve Winwood. Because right now that’s exactly what I need to do in regards to my career, my life, and this promise I made to my friends that I will find Bart’s killer.

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

I wish I could say I get to hang up that hat, but I don’t.

Because next March (in Silence of the Flans), a student at the local college is going to be poisoned. And, seeing as how it’s one of my desserts she’ll be eating when she keels over, I kind of sort of need to get to the bottom of things if there’s any hope of keeping my Emergency Dessert Squad on the road…

 

Release Day–Framed to Death

Framed to Death CoverIt’s here…release day for Framed to Death. I hate picking a favorite (and I probably say this with every book) but I have to say this cover and the story is one of my favorites. It wasn’t the easiest one to write, to be honest it gave me huge fits at times, but it holds a special place in my heart. My character grew a lot from the ending of Embellished to Framed. I loved writing this journey for her and having her take on an issue causing havoc in her community.

I’ll be making some guest appearances around the world wide web, and I’ll also be at Malice Domestic this weekend. Please stop by and say hi at my stops to enter into a giveaway.

Here’s my schedule:

April 25 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

April 26 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

April 27T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

April 28The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

April 29Tea and A Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 303 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – SPOTLIGHT

May 1Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

May 2LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

May 2Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

May 3Musings and Ramblings – GUEST POST

May 4A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

And now a little introduction about Framed to Death:

Eden has turned into a hotspot of crime, and Faith finds herself smack dab in the middle of the flare-up. When a favor for a friend links Faith to the synthetic marijuana problem invading her town, no good deed goes unpunished becomes the title of her life. The town accuses the police of favoritism toward her, putting a strain between Faith and Ted, and a new officer is determined to prove Faith’s guilt.

When the criminal is outed, Faith’s relief is short-lived. A fire takes out the store—along with the suspected dealer—and she’s now number one on an officer’s suspect list. Faith sets out to prove her own innocence, and her digging sparks the truth to life. Instead of the truth setting the town free, Faith finds out it might destroy Eden, the friends she holds dear, and smother out her own life.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo