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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

 

 

SRP Heroine Interview: Cass Donovan from Death at First Sight

death-at-first-sight-large-banner640Today on the Self-Rescue Princess, we have Cass stopping by to talk with us. Thank you for coming by.

death-at-first-sight1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Since I left my psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in my hometown on Bay Island, I’ve given my fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what I see in Ellie Callahan’s future doesn’t bode well.

When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts me about the reading, the embarrassment makes me want to curl up and die. And when I later stumbles across Marge’s body—and am a suspect in her murder—I’m suddenly the star of Bay Island’s rumor mill.

I’m determined to prove my innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate in my unfortunate vision. But even with the help of my friends Bee and Stephanie, I will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find the real killer…

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

I had no choice, really. The local sheriff seems determined to take the easy way out and pin this murder on me. The only way I can clear my name and, hopefully, save my reputation is to figure out who the real killer is.

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

Never. I am not the type to get involved in anything like a murder investigation. To be completely honest, the whole thing gives me a terrible headache. If I could, I would definitely leave matters to the police.

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

My friend Stephanie’s husband, Tank, is the least pleased. He’s very careful about keeping his wife safe, and for some reason, she keeps ending up in trouble when she hangs out with me. It’s not my fault—well not completely, anyway—but needless to say, he is not amused.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I am great at reading people. I can tell a lot about someone based on their mannerisms, gestures, telling tics, inflections. I’m usually adept enough to give them a fairly accurate reading based on information I gather just from studying them. As for a weakness, I have a few, but the biggest is not knowing when to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes there’s no filter between my brain and my mouth, and stuff just pops out before I can censor it.

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

Trust your instincts, and do what your heart tells you.

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

It’s not really a plan, but I have a sneaking suspicion there’s more trouble headed my way.

 

Guest Post by Anna Celeste Burke

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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: Bridget Sway from Beyond Dead

beyond dead   large banner 640A huge thank you to Bridget for stopping by today to chat with us.

BEYOND DEAD COVERPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Well, I’ve just died so that’s kind of a big deal for me. I also have a new job that I don’t get paid for, a considerably unflattering mauve jumpsuit for a uniform, a parole officer and a Ghostly Acclimatisation meeting to attend every night to help me adjust to my new (after)life. Sounds pretty bad, right? Like, can’t-get-any-worse bad? I thought so too. And then I found a dead guy in my locker on my very first day at work.

Since the idiot police are trying to pin his murder on me my new best friend, Sabrina, thought it’d be a great idea to solve the murder ourselves and clear my name. Personally, I’m a little hesitant about getting involved as I don’t know the first thing about solving murders (I was an event planner in life) and I don’t really want to catch the murderer’s eye and be the next dead body shoved in my locker.

Yeah, so that’s what happening with me right now.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

 Nooooooo. I’m not really a fan of group activities or the type of person who gets involved in these types of ridiculous situations. I mean, what type of rational person tries to solve a murder?

Whilst it’s true in my alive job I did have to deal with some exceedingly unpleasant predicaments I mainly planned weddings so murder was never really something I came across. Theft? Sure. The odd slap fight? Absolutely! But no one ever murdered anyone. Like I said, I mainly planned weddings so those types of threats were made all the time but no one ever followed through on them. At least not at my events.

And to be fair, I don’t really fight crime, pre se. It just sort of happens around me and then Sabrina convinces me that it’s important we get involved. 

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

No, detective work is absolutely not my only career. I’m unhappily unemployed as a facilitator of pre- and post-life affairs which basically means I spend all day moving stuff around without alive people knowing. For example, if you could swear you put your lip balm on your desk but you find it in the bathroom then, yep, a facilitator probably moved it. Or you’re just really forgetful.

As for who is least pleased with my sleuthing I’d say it’s pretty much a draw between everyone, including myself. Except Sabrina. Sabrina used to be a private investigator in life – in the afterlife she’s relegated to a career as a filing clerk – so she’s super happy that dead people keep falling out at me. I think it makes her feel like her afterlife has some purpose.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I would say my strengths are my confidence and my comebacks. Although dying has dulled the awesomeness of them somewhat but I’m working on it! Probably my biggest weakness or fault is that I can be a little self-involved and dismissive of other people sometimes but in the afterlife so many people are deeply stupid so …

That said, I’m finding the longer I’m dead the more important other people are becoming to me. It’s odd how dying changes your perspective on things. 

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

It means being who you are, unashamedly so, and not worryingly about whether other people will like you. Whether that’s regarding your opinions, how you dress or anything and everything in between. The only person you have to be concerned about liking you is you. 

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

To not let the negativity of others infect your positivity. In life there are people who will support you and invest in your dreams and those that will try to tear you down. You only have a finite number of Friday nights/Tuesday mornings/Thursday afternoons in your life – don’t waste time on those who don’t enrich your life in some way.

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

That I couldn’t identify a murderer at twenty paces! That’s probably the biggest thing. And I used to think I was good at reading people. 

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

I had no plans to dabble in this initial bout of sleuthing so I have absolutely no intentions for further sleuthing. At all. Unless someone shoves another dead ghost into my locker and Sabrina finds out about it.  But come on, what’s the likelihood of that?

 

SRP Heroine Interview: CC Muller from Killer Finds

killer finds  large banner640Thank you so much for stopping by the Self-Rescue Princess today. I’m so glad you’re able to visit while I chat with CC Muller from Killer Finds.

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

I will start out by introducing myself for those of you who don’t know me. My name is CC Muller, and I am an antique hunter. I, along with my best friend Anne Hillstrom, appear in the Antique Hunters Mystery series written by Vicki Vass. Our most recent book, Killer Finds, details our adventures after Anne loses all her money and is forced to sell her beloved possessions.  It becomes further complicated by the dead body sitting on the seat next to her on the flight home from our buying trip to Paris.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

From the beginning, Anne and I never meant to be characters in a murder mystery series. We only wanted to share our love of antiquing and our knowledge of history with you, our dear readers. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. Instead we encountered trouble. You can read about our adventures in the first book in the series, Murder by the Spoonful.

Along the way, Anne and I pride ourselves with giving you, our dear readers, tips you can use for your own antique hunting and perhaps if the circumstances arise how to solve a murder mystery.

What are your strengths?

Before Anne and I start out on any trip, we do our research. As an investigative journalist, I rely on the Internet and my extensive wealth of knowledge. We research various locations and its surrounding area so we can maximize our time on our antique hunts. Anne’s background as a research chemist has proven particularly useful both in identifying antiques and killers.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share?

Make a plan. Anne loves to make lists upon lists of stores she would like to visit wherever we are traveling. And, she never forgets to bring her tools. These are very important to help authenticate a find such as a Roseville vase. Anne always carries a pen flashlight and magnifying glass. She also brings a measuring tape so she can measure the space required to take home a large item or authenticate the correct height of antiques such as Stieff bears or Hummels. But the greatest tool Anne carries is her eye for quality antiques. Her house is full of beautiful finds. Well, to be fair more than full as her obsession with shopping carries her away as does her love for food. As her best friend, I feel it is my responsibility to keep both in check.

How can we keep up with your and Anne’s adventures?

In our blog called the Spoon Sisters, a title anointed on us by the Chicago Tribune after solving the estate sale murders in Murder by the Spoonful, we share many tips on antique hunting and recipes from my kitchen and from around the country as we hunt down antiques and pick up clues.

With summer upon us, here is a simple recipe for a refreshing and elegant Shrimp and Watermelon salad.

Ingredients for salad

1 chunk romaine, shredded

1 lb peeled and deveined cooked shrimp

½ watermelon cut into cubes

½ cup feta sprinkles

1 ounce glazed pecans

Mix all ingredients together

Ingredients for Lemon dressing

Juice of one lemon and some zest

1 tbs. sugar to taste

1 tbs. vinegar.

Mix all together well and then pour over the salad. Serve and enjoy. Should make four servings.

SRP Heroine Interview: Emma Cassidy from Pushed to the Limit

pushed to the limit large banner640The Self-Rescue Princess is thrilled to have Emma Cassidy stopping by to chat with us today. Thanks for coming, Emma. I’ll go ahead and get started with my questions as I know you’re quite a busy woman.

PUSHED TO THE LIMITPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Hi, great to be here! I’m an event planner, and I’ve recently had to move back to my home town and start from scratch after my career went down the tubes in New York (through no fault of mine). In this business word of mouth is everything, so I wasn’t too happy when Faye Seymour, the town’s reigning gossip queen, spread some nasty rumors about me that resulted in me losing a valuable client. I wasn’t her only victim. Faye enjoyed digging up secrets, spreading malicious gossip, and making people’s lives miserable. But then someone finally snapped and pushed the old woman down the stairs. I happened to stumble upon her, and she accused me of trying to kill her before passing out! Fortunately, when she came around, she didn’t remember what she’d said. But now I have to find out who the real culprit is before she regains her ‘memory’ and starts accusing me again. Only problem is, Faye has made a lot of enemies.

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

I don’t want to be falsely accused. Plus, I’m convinced someone tried to kill Faye, and as much as she exasperates me, I wouldn’t like her to be bumped off.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No, never in my wildest dreams! It’s ironic that I lived in New York for years and never had a problem with crime, yet now that I’m back in my sleepy hometown I’m seeing potential murderers everywhere!

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 Owen Fletcher, my high school boyfriend. Once upon a time we were inseparable, but we each had very different visions of our future, so we broke up just before graduation. Now, I’m back, and I have to confess I’ve entertained the odd daydream about getting back together with Owen, but so far he hasn’t given me any signs of encouragement. Owen is a deputy with the sheriff’s department, and he hates my amateur sleuthing with a passion. He thinks I’m too reckless for my own good, but I don’t agree.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I think my strengths are resilience and self-reliance. Losing a business and a boyfriend at the same time has taught me how to recover from setbacks.

My weaknesses? Sometimes I can’t say no to people, like Faye, for example. Even though she lost me an important client and treats me with little respect, I’ve agreed to look after her pet parrot while she’s in hospital.

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

It means knowing that I am responsible for myself, and that no one owes me anything. It also means I recognize when something is too big for me to handle and that I’m not too proud to ask for help.

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

I’d like to quote Eleanor Roosevelt: No one came make you feel inferior without your consent.

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

I’m lucky to have my family and friends around me.

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

Let It Be, by the Beatles.

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

Well, funny you should ask that! I don’t plan to dabble, but it seems like I’ve found myself embroiled in another murder mystery. I can’t give too much away because I’m still assembling the suspects, but hopefully all will be revealed soon.