Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Rosie Hardie from Fowl Murder

FOWL MURDER BANNER 820Welcome to the Self-Rescue Princess, Rosie. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life. 

fowl murder coverLife’s become rather complicated.  My husband, Craig, and I moved to Nanyuki, a small market town three hours north of Nairobi, when he retired as a farm manager.  We expected a peaceful life: Craig enjoys his crossword puzzles and I still work as a community vet, treating animals and wildlife in Nanyuki, and the surrounding area known as Laikipia.

That all changed when my old schoolfriend, Aisha Onyango returned.  She was looking into a case I hoped would remain in the past, but before we could discuss it in detail she was killed.  Our local Police Commissioner was told by the ‘powers-that-be’  in Nairobi to close the case.  

I was angry that there would be no justice for a friend who had dedicated her life to fighting corruption, and promoting her vision of Kenya, with equality and economic prosperity for all.  

Aisha’s son, Thabiti has persuaded me to help him find his mother’s killer.  He called in a debt I owed his mother.  She intervened and saved me from going to prison for shooting a poacher, the case which I thought was dead and buried.

So here I am, in my mid-60’s investigating the murder of an influential lawyer, anti-corruption advocate….and my long lost friend.

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

My conscience.  It’s not right that someone who spent her whole life fighting injustice and corruption in Kenya, should be killed and her assailant allowed to escape punishment.  As the bible says in Psalms, ‘blessed are those that act justly, who always do what is right’.

I try to do what is right, to treat people kindly and fairly so that my conscience is clear and I have peace of mind.  The trouble is I don’t…have peace of mind.  I mentioned the case in which I shot a poacher.  He was a young man and I was acting in self-defense, but I still took a life and that is a sin.  One I cannot justify or seek repentance for.  So if this investigation is dangerous and I am injured or killed?  Perhaps that is the justice I deserve.  If I can help Thabiti discover who killed his mother then maybe I can begin to seek atonement for what I did.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

At my age certainly not.  Sure we all do our bit and there have been occasions where I have administered my own judgment and punishment.  I’m afraid our police and justice system in Kenya cannot always be relied upon.  A culprit may languish for months in jail without a trial and sometimes the wrong person, such as the culprit’s wife, might be thrown into prison for her husband’s misdeeds.

There is so much that needs doing to help the community that I prefer a practical and useful sentence, such as digging latrines or a new vegetable patch for my local church’s orphanage.  Generally the wrongdoers are not career criminals, just someone trying to improve their way of life, or feed and clothe their family.

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

I wouldn’t call my work a career.  I began treating injured animals in the local community 40 years ago and over time my experience, expertise and following have grown.  So has my workload.  I get paid by the European farmers but the Africans can barely afford to pay for the medicines.  For my time I am often giving a basket of vegetables, or a stallholder at the local market will put something aside she knows I will like.  It’s kept us fed and to an extent clothed over the years.  

My husband Craig is not happy that I’m running around Nanyuki looking for a dangerous killer.  He knows how impulsive and headstrong I can be.  At first he argued against my involvement but he understands why I feel compelled to help Thabiti.  He has his own guilt from the shooting incident and also feels indebted to Aisha.  I am afraid Craig is not well.  He caught polio as a boy which damaged his left leg and left him with a limp.  After all these years he’s developed a secondary complication and I think it’s causing him pain, although he won’t admit it.  I’m sure he would prefer me to stay safely at home with him.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’ve become rather less tolerant with age.  Whilst there are those people who suffer through poverty, there are others who are lazy or selfish which I cannot abide.  I value honesty, hard-work and resourcefulness.  

I know Craig thinks me impulsive, and at times stubborn.  I am not generous in monetary terms, as we barely seem to have enough ourselves, but I try to be with my time, and to help those who are really in need.

I think I’m becoming forgetful with age.  I can never remember where I’ve put my glasses!

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

I’m no princess, more likely the ugly step mother…but I would prefer to be the fairy godmother.  As for being strong and confident, it’s not always possible as life is not easy and sets us many challenges.  We have to strive to do what is right, to act with a clear conscience as we judge ourselves, and as God will judge each of us when the time comes.  I have done a great wrong.  I took a man’s life so I do what I can to make amends by helping the innocent, and those who are less able or poor.  

I survived some very difficult times, begging for a roof over our heads and with barely enough food to feed the family.  This made me stronger but also more aware of other people’s struggles, especially here in Kenya.  If I am strong now it is so I can assist those who are not.   

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

I’m not one for popular music so I asked my younger friends Chloe, who recently arrived from the UK, and Thabiti.  They suggested ‘Bright Side of the Road’ written and sung I believe by Van Morrison.

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

I shouldn’t say this but it’s rather exciting being involved in an investigation.  Craig would not be happy with me but…

 

Readers can learn what Rose and her friends become involved in next by joining my mailing list and receiving a free novella, Grevy Danger.  

Two deaths. No crime.  For this determined sleuth the answers are not black and white.

When Rose joins an endangered zebra expedition, she’s shaken to her core when an injured girl she treats suddenly dies. And after another death days later, Rose can’t silence the alarm bells in her head that point to murder.

 

Blurb for Fowl Murder

A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?

Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of a poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.

Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, our tireless heroine dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…

As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?

Fowl Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like Agatha Christie and Agatha Raisin, determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.

Buy Fowl Murder to solve a searing whodunit today!

 

Books · Heroine Interviews · Self-Rescue Princess

SRP Heroine Interview: Jolie Tucker from Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder

JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD MURDER BANNER 640

The Self-Rescue Princess took a bit of an unexpected hiatus. Nothing earth-shattering happened, fortunately, just trying to juggle too much at one time and getting lost in one project and (unfortunately) forgetting about others.

To get back into the swing things, today I’ll talking with Jolie Tucker from Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder . Here’s a little bit about what’s going on with her life:

JalapenoMurder_cover_hi_res_1563x2500 (3)Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio where DEATH takes a delicious turn!

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

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

I had no choice. I am semi-involved in a relationship with Detective Meiser. My friend, Bradley, was a suspect and my friends, The Seevers, are suspects as well. I couldn’t say no to my elder, Mrs. Bea Seevers, when she asked me to help her and Earl out.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a great cook—I love creating recipes for cast iron skillet cooking. I’m introverted which I believe many see as a weakness, but it’s who I am and I’m okay with it. Investigating does get me out in the public more—but I still try to keep a low profile as best I can—sometimes that works for me and sometimes it works against me.

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

You know, I see what other people consider to be heroes. I don’t define hero in the same way as most. I think being a hero is being true to one’s self and not settling nor allowing yourself to feel selfish because you do what’s right for you and take care of yourself. A hero can just as easily put themselves in other peoples’ shoes too. I find myself feeling for not only the victims but the villains too. There is always a reason for why people do what they do.

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

I’d give three quotes from one of my favorite writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Self-trust is the first secret of success.”

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

Don’t let other people decide who you are. That’s my quote.

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

Thanksgiving is coming up and I hear that there is some trouble brewing. Find out 11/18/19 when Turkey Basted To Death comes out.

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: 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: 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.

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Aurora (Rory) Anderson from Paint the Town Dead

  1. paint the town deadPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

I love attending decorative painting conventions, so I was excited when I learned the Ocean Painting Society would be holding its first convention right here in Vista Beach. I even put together the convention website so I got the scoop on everything early on. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out exactly as I expected. I was enjoying myself, shopping and working on the trade show floor and taking painting classes when my friend collapsed in class and, well, there’s no sugarcoating it—she died. The police looked into it, of course, but didn’t find any evidence of foul play so they closed the case. That didn’t seem right to me so I started my own investigation.

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

I couldn’t let the murderer get away with it! She was my friend. Someone had to stick up for her.

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

No, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to have anything to do with murder and now I’ve been involved in two investigations!

  1. 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 have to be Detective Green of the Vista Beach police department. He’s not thrilled when civilians get involved in police matters. I think he’s afraid I’ll get hurt. No, detective work isn’t my normal career. I’m a freelance computer programmer. I write apps, put together websites, that sort of thing.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My willingness to drop everything and help out friends and family. I’m persistent and a good problem solver. But, sometimes I’m too concerned about what others think of me.

  1. Describe what being a self-rescue princess means to you.

A strong, confident woman tries to solve her own problems. At the same time, she knows she can’t always do everything by herself so she knows when it’s time to ask for help.

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

Don’t let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dreams. Persistence pays off.

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

Never take friends for granted. You never know when they’ll no longer be there.

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

The Gloria Gaynor song, “I Will Survive.” Not that long ago, I learned my birth parents were serial arsonists who were responsible for numerous fires and a few deaths here in Vista Beach. That threw me for a loop, believe me. I didn’t know anything about this until I moved to Vista Beach with my parents almost two years ago now. Then there was that dead body in my garden…

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

I hope I never see another dead body in my life! But I have this uneasy feeling that there’s another one in my future.

Books · Excerpt

Excerpt from Death Vetoes a Chairman by Teresa Watson

Today, I’m posting an excerpt from Death Vetoes a Chairman. In this book, Lizzie Crenshaw is used to being in the middle of murder in Brookdale. After attending a fundraiser with her friend, Jake Mathias, she embarks on the biggest emotional and physical journey of her life, leaving some of the residents of Brookdale reeling from the effects. And before it is all over, it could cost them someone they love…

death vetoes the chairmanExcerpt:

The front door opened, and a bouquet of flowers preceded Nicole into the newsroom. She stopped in front of me. “You’re getting to be a regular customer, Lizzie,” she said, handing me the clipboard. I handed it over to Jake, who signed it and gave it back to Nicole. “You must have a very wealthy secret admirer. How does T.J. feel about that?”

“He doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body,” I assured her.

“You’re a lucky woman.”

As she left, I pulled the card out and read it. “Better luck next time. Ethan.” I gave the card to Jake. “What does that mean?”

T.J. and Steve came through the front door as I asked that. The looks on their faces told me they did not have good news. “We need to talk in your office.”

Frankly, I didn’t want to go back in there, not after listening to Jake recount the details to Dale. “Let’s go outside,” I replied.

The five of us – myself, T.J., Steve, Dale and Jake – trooped outside and stood on the right side of the building near the parking lot. “I honestly don’t know how to tell you this, Lizzie,” Steve said.

“Tell me what?”

“Winthrop’s lawyer has friends in high and low places. He drove down here, talked to a couple of people, made a few calls, and got the TRO cancelled.”

“What do you mean, he got it cancelled?”

“The clerk called to tell me. It was thrown out because of lack of evidence.”

“Lack of evidence?” I snapped. “How much more evidence do they need? My dead body?”

“Lizzie,” T.J. said, trying to wrap his arm around my waist. I stepped away from him, and he let his arm drop.

“His lawyer called another judge, who listened to the recording. She said that Winthrop clearly requested that you stop recording, and therefore you violated his right to privacy by refusing to stop it.”

“How could I? He had me pinned to the wall,” I retorted as I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I angrily wiped it away. “So what you’re saying is I’m basically screwed.”

“I didn’t say that,” Steve hastily replied. “But we’re going to have to come up with more proof.”

“Forget it,” I said. “Just let it go.”

“You can’t do that, Lizzie,” Jake said.

“Yes, I can, and I am. It’s easy for you to say ‘don’t quit’. You’re not the one who has to deal with telling the story over and over. No wonder so many women don’t report the harassment and the assaults. Who wants to keep living it over and over? I certainly don’t.”

“If you give up, then he wins,” T.J. said. “What about the next woman he goes after?”

“Don’t lay that on me, Thomas Jefferson Roosevelt. Don’t you dare lay that guilt trip on me. I’m responsible for one person, and that’s myself. And even that is too much to handle right now. If he wants to win so bad, let him. If you want to fight him, go right ahead. Leave me out of it. I’m done.” I turned and walked back into the building. The flowers were on the desk when I went into the office. I stared at them for a minute, awkwardly picked them up and threw them at the wall. The sound of shattering glass echoed off the walls. I shoved a bunch of papers into my bag and left.

Books · Excerpt · Heroine Interviews · mystery

Self-Rescue Princess Interview: Lizzie Crenshaw from Death Vetoes a Chairman

death vetoes the chairman1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Books · Excerpt · giveaway · Holiday · Scrapbooking · West Virginia

Scrapbooking Moment from Embellished to Death

West Virginia Craft Week is coming to end for 2015. I’m already looking forward to 2016 as it really got me in the crafting frame of mind and I completed quite a few projects this week. To end the week, I’m sharing a small scrapbooking moment from Embellished to Death, the third book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series published by Henery Press. I hope you enjoy it.

EMBELLISHED front under 2mbExcerpt:

“Hi, can I help you?” I smiled at the young woman in front of me.

She held out an heirloom photograph. The edges had a slight yellowish tint and a slight burn mark on the bottom. In the middle of the picture was an old couple surrounded by two couples holding infants, seven teenagers, and three elementary-aged children. It looked like a family portrait had been taken in front of the house where the couple lived. There was a small clapboard house, a large horse, and numerous pieces of old-time farm equipment.

“I was going to crop the photo but my friend said not to. She said I’d regret it. I just think the background is too busy and the family gets lost.”

I stood and led her to where we had some pattern papers in soft colors. “Your friend is right. In a few years, you might regret not having a picture of your family’s ancestral home.”

The young woman lightly touched the image of one of the young couples. “My great-great-grandparents didn’t live there. My great-grandfather wanted to impress his in-laws so he had the picture taken at the farm he worked at. His wife sent the picture with a letter to her parents so they wouldn’t worry about her. She wanted them to know her new husband was taking good care of her and the baby. This picture convinced her parents that their son-in-law was so successful, he could also take care of them in their aging years

I laughed. “That is an incredible story. I bet a lot of family stories were born by this one picture.”

The young woman grinned at me. “That there were. You know what, I’m going to make a whole scrapbook album about how this one picture changed my great-grandfather’s life. Ten years later, he did own that property.”

“He wanted to live up to his in-laws’ expectations.”

“No.” Her smile broadened. “His in-laws loved it so much that he wanted them to have it so they’d move out of his home.”

About Embellished to Death:

When Faith Hunter agrees to help PI Bob Roget find an identity thief at a local scrapbook retreat, her friendly croppers’ weekend quickly morphs into a dangerous one. As croppers share their own memories, a killer collects them for her new identity, and doesn’t appreciate Faith in the picture.

Faith struggles to balance her professional, detecting and personal lives as threats and secrets keep her off-balance. Things turn deadly when a woman is killed and Faith is blackmailed. Truth and lies collide when Faith discovers croppers aren’t the only ones embellishing, and the results might end her life.

Thank you for spending time with me during West Virginia Craft Week. There’s still time to enter for a chance to win the reading journal. Click on the link at it’ll take you to the post. To enter, comment on what is your favorite book.