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.

 

 

 

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Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Britta Johnson from Natural Thorn Killer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Say Love/The Rose

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

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

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Charity Penn from Playing with Bonbon Fire

 

PLAYING WITH BONBON FIRE BANNER 640Thank you so much for joining us today, Charity Penn. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

bonbonfirecoverPlease just call me Penn. I live in the small town of Camellia Beach, located a few miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. I own the Chocolate Box and I’m an active member of the small town’s business community. All summer I’ve been working hard with Camellia Beach’s president of the business associate, Bubba Crowley, on putting together the town’s first beach music festival. Things start to fall apart when someone threatens the headliner of the festival, the deliriously popular Bixby Lewis. Not long after that another singer, who is dressed in Bixby’s signature outfit, is found dead.

With help from my meddling half-sister (I truly do love her!) and a new flavor of chocolate sweets to ignite the senses, I follow the shifting tide of evidence to keep all of the band members at the festival and everyone else in my quirky seaside town safe.

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

My half-sister had arranged for Bixby Lewis to perform at Camellia Beach’s tiny beach music festival as a favor to me. (I later found out that she was trying to hook the two of us up. She can be such a meddler.) When the threats against his life started, I naturally felt responsible for his safety. And the police seemed to be asking all the wrong questions, so I decided to ask a few questions of my own.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Gracious, no. I have a background in advertising. I led a sheltered life growing up. Plus, I’ve been super busy with learning how to run the Chocolate Box, the chocolate shop I’d recently inherited. I don’t have time to be doing the job the local police should be doing. But sometimes even the most skilled detectives misread the clues. I can’t stand by and let someone get away with murder.

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

Detective Frank Gibbons with the Charleston County Police Department, an older man I love and respect, wishes I would leave the sleuthing to the professionals. He’s pretty darn vocal about it too. He has even threatened me with jail time—in a kindly, fatherly way. Like I’ve said, I do love him. I love him more than I love my own father. And I understand his concerns. But the detective doesn’t live in Camellia Beach. He doesn’t understand its unique quirks like I do. Although he doesn’t realize it, he truly needs me.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Although I never imagined I’d ever be an amateur sleuth, I see now in hindsight that it was inevitable. I’ve been lied to and tricked my entire life. Because my family is rich and politically powerful back in Chicago, there have always been people in my life who have tried to get close to me with one goal in mind: to get access to my family and/or their money. Joke is on them, though. I’m the black sheep of my family. My grandmother has never included me in family photographs or invited me to Christmas parties.

My past experiences have caused me to develop deep sense of distrust of…pretty much everyone. My trust issues and tendency to constantly be on the lookout for hidden agendas has turned into some of my best strengths when it comes to ferreting out criminals. I know to look beyond that friendly smile. I know to suspect even the seemingly kindest of souls.

On the flipside, my distrustfulness is also my biggest weakness. I keep everyone at arm’s reach. But I’m working on it. It’s difficult, but I’m working on letting a few people get close. I need to. I can’t run the Chocolate Box alone. I desperately need all the help I can get.

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

Strong women don’t ever give up. Don’t know how to do something? Learn how. Failed at a task? Try again. Try something different. Feeling left out? Create an event of your own. It’s your life and only you can decide what to do with it. I’m a big fan of Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go and the lessons it contains.

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

Be strong enough to ask for help when you need it. Life doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.

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

I learned that there are nice people in the world, people who genuinely want to help others. That was a shocker.

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

It’d be the theme song to the show, the Greatest American Hero. Do you remember that song? “Believe or Not.” The song talks about how just accepting who you are, you can find freedom and happiness. That’s what I’ve found here in Camellia Beach. I’m in paradise because I’ve finally learned to love myself, foibles and all.

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

I never plan on dabbling in the sleuthing business. It’s something that seems to come to me. I see a wrong that no one sees fit to right. What am I going to do? Sit on my hands and let the wrong person go to jail? No. I’ve suffered enough injustice in my life to want to save others from experiencing the same trouble, whether they deserve my help or not.

And that’s exactly what I did recently. I join my best pal, Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the murder weapon in her hand. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with me to bring his mother back to him, I can’t say no. Instead, I dive headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for me and for those I love in the third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate (Sept 11, 2018.)

 

 

 

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Lucy Berberian from Hummus and Homicide

hummus and homicide banner 640Welcome to The Self-Rescue Princess, Lucy, please tell our audience a little about what is currently going on in your life:

Hummus and Homicide - Final CoverHi! I’m Lucy Berberian, a recovering Philadelphia lawyer. After my job threw me a curveball, I returned home to my family’s Mediterranean restaurant, Kebab Kitchen, at the Jersey Shore. I missed the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of my family’s Mediterranean food. But I never thought murder was on the menu…

Things are slow during the off-season, and I end up waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. My parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see our calico cat again, and to catch up with my old BFF, Katie Watson, who’s married to a cop now.

Things are looking good. Until, well, they go south and fast. My former high school rival turns out to be the new town health inspector.  After tallying up bogus violations at the restaurant, we have a monumental spat. But when she shows up to eat at Kebab Kitchen, I’m the unlucky gal who has to wait on her. A crazy day turns deadly when she eats at the hummus bar, then drops dead in the parking lot.

The problem is I’m suspect number one. I served my bitter rival her last meal. Was it food poisoning or murder?

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

Well, I didn’t really have a choice. After my rival eats hummus at Kebab Kitchen and falls down dead in the parking lot, we’re all in big trouble. Not only is the future of the restaurant at stake, by my family’s livelihood, my parents’ pride—and most frightening of all—my own freedom.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Never! I was a patent attorney, not an investigator. I can patent a detective’s handcuffs, but not use them.

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 may have originally wanted me to clear Kebab Kitchen of suspicion, but they wouldn’t have wanted me to go so far as to put myself in danger. Sleuthing can be risky business!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m pretty organized. I like to make lists and cross off items. As for weaknesses, I can’t cook worth a damn. Everyone in my family can cook, and my mother is a talented chef. She’s trying to teach me, and it’s testing my patience as well as hers. We’ll see how it goes…

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

A confident woman is someone who is happy with themselves, intellectually and physically. As women, we need to embrace ourselves more often.

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

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Value your friends. Treat others with respect. Love your God-given self.

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

I learned to rely on my friends a bit more. I couldn’t have solved a crime without my best friend, Katie Watson. I also learned to have patience during cooking lessons with my mother, a real feat.

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

I don’t plan on it, but I have a bad habit of stumbling upon dead bodies. My next sleuthing foray happens when Kebab Kitchen is catering a socialite’s wedding (Stabbed in the Baklava) and during a summer beach festival (One Feta in the Grave). It’s all just an average day at the Jersey shore.

Thank you!

 

SHORT AUTHOR BIO

Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

 

You can also connect with Tina at:

Website: http://www.tinakashian.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaKashian1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinakashian/

 

A Kebab Kitchen Mystery

When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu…

Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.

She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school…and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect…

Recipes Included!

“A delectable read.”

–Bestselling Author Shelley Freydont

 

Books · Heroine Interviews · mystery

SRP Heroine Interview: Piper Prescott from Ginger Snapped

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GINGER SNAPPED (2)It’s a new year, and The Self-Rescue Princess has even more fabulous heroines for you to meet. Our first for 2018 is Piper Prescott. Welcome, Piper.

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

Over the past year, my relationship with the often infuriating Chief of Police, Wyatt McBride, has mellowed into a friendship of sorts.  I’m still distracted by the darn dimple of his that makes an appearance now and again when he smiles a certain way, but I’m always secretly pleased when he pops into Spice It Up!.  Goes to show my female hormones haven’t stopped functioning yet.  Being the owner of a little spice shop here in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, keeps me on my toes.  My daughter Lindsey is a high school senior now, and she keeps me pretty busy, too, with college admission forms and things like senior prom.  In a weak moment, I even volunteered to be on the prom committee.  As though my life wasn’t full enough already, a local Realtor showed up dead recently in McBride’s fishing hole and now the whole town is regarding him as a person of interest.  How’s that for turning the tables on my favorite lawman?

What made you take on such a risky endeavor?

I don’t know what was riskier, opening my own business following a divorce or trying to solve a murder.  I only know when folks started suspecting Wyatt I couldn’t simply sit idle.  I may have had my run-ins with the man but I knew deep-down  he wasn’t a killer.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No way!  Brandywine Creek is no bigger than a flyspeck on a map and is post card pretty.  Sure every city has crime, but here it consists of mostly petty stuff.  Murder happens elsewhere, not in Brandywine Creek. I’m a shop owner not some fancy detective.  I’m naturally curious, like to ask a lot of questions (even the unpopular ones) and Spice It Up! has become a place where women like to gather—and gossip.  Few things I love better than fitting together the pieces of a good puzzle.

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

Just about everyone I know casts aspersions on my avocation, but if I had to pick three people here goes:  Chief of Police, Wyatt McBride tops my list.  McBride’s given me more lectures than I can count on the pitfalls of playing amateur sleuth.  They all boils down to him telling me that I should mind my own business and leave the crime solving to the pros. He’s been especially testy since getting shot during a showdown I had with a former hitman. Next on my list would be my ex-husband, C.J. Prescott.  He thinks I’ve completely lost my marbles and doesn’t mince words.  Coming in third would be my daughter, Lindsey Nicole.  After some of my escapades, she had the nerve to tell me that I’m the troublemaker in the family and in need of a curfew.  Imagine!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Stubbornness can be both a curse and a blessing.  I persist in finding answers to vexing questions when another might take a step back and let things go.  It’s also lead me into some pretty dicey situations.  I tend to act impulsively on occasion and become a risk taker, often to my detriment.

 

Books · mystery · Reviews

Review: The Discombobulated Decipherers by Julie Seedorf

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Thank you for stopping by The Self-Rescue Princess today. Today, I’m doing a holiday review of the Discombobulated Decipherers. The reviews I write are a little different as I like to focus on the heroines, or as the case is during the holiday season, I comment about the holiday spirit in the story.

discombulatedThe Discombobulated Decipherers is a fun, quirky story with plenty of holiday charm. The main element of the story is the mystery, who killed Ernest the elf, but it always maintains its lighthearted feel, perfect for readers who prefer to read less angst during this time of the year. The reader can follow along with the characters as they try to uncover the puzzle of who killed Ernest and also if an item they keep stumbling upon has anything to do with the murder, or with the history of the town. (I don’t want to inadvertently give a spoiler so am not mentioning the item.) The holiday season is important to the story so it really lends to the atmosphere of the book. The mystery and the holiday aspect of the story blended together perfectly, and I don’t think either would’ve worked without the other which is something I really enjoyed about the book.

 

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Roxanne (Roxy) Bloom from the Killer Coffee Mystery Series

I’d like to welcome Roxy to the Self-Rescue Princess.

freshlyground1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Well, it’s Christmas in Honey Springs.
Our town’s annual Christmas in the Park is underway and includes a Christmas Pawrade that’ll help the furry residents at Pet Palace get a home for Christmas.

I’m afraid It’s not the four-legged creatures that stole the show, it’s the pair of legs sticking out from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony that has all the town talking.

I own The Bean Hive Coffeehouse and I have to tell you that
the suspects are piling up faster than the falling snow, while a murderer is on the loose.

The gossip is as hot as the coffee I serve.

Of course I can’t let this ruin my first Christmas in Honey Springs, so I’m keeping my ear to the rumors and checking out a few things on my own. I sure would hate to have this murder hanging over our heads at the Christmas table!

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

Otis, bless his heart, was a friend of mine. He was the sweetest man and owned Odd Ink, the tattoo parlor next to my coffeehouse. He came in everyday to get a sweet treat and cup of coffee. I just hate what happened to him.

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

Oh my….how do I say this without running you off. I’m sorta like a murder magnet. Somehow I stumble upon bodies while minding my own business, then I make it my business. A few months ago I’d tell you that I’d never get involved in a murder. A few months ago is a long time.

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

I’d have to say it’d be my fiancé Patrick Cane. He just don’t understand why I can’t just keep brewing up coffee instead of trouble.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’d have to say that I’m a good listener, which helps me weed out the gossip from the truth. My Aunt Maxi always said there’s a wee-bit of truth in all of that gossip, I just have to find out what’s the truth.

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

A couple of years ago I was a lawyer in my own firm. I was unhappy and not following my life. I realized real fast that no man or job was going to make me happy. I was the only one who was going to do that, so that’s when I moved to Honey Springs, took a leap of faith and opened up The Bean Hive Coffeehouse.

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

Follow your dream! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

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

I realized how strong I am when faced with hard problems. If I could get through law school, a nasty divorce and a complete lifestyle change…I know I can get through anything!

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

Bullet Proof by David Goetta.

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

Listen, I don’t go looking for trouble, but if my friends need me…I can’t say I won’t stick my nose in something.