Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Lyssa Pennington from Stuck

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews, mystery

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

 

 

Posted in Books, Reviews

SRP Review: Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

deadly assetsDeadly Assets is the second book in the Allison Campbell Mystery Book series. Even in the first book (Killer Image), I saw Allison Campbell has a self-rescuing princess. While her past affected her deeply, she never allowed it to control her and found a way to use her pain and insecurities as a way to not only better her own life but also others. I loved how Allison learnt from her past and was willing to acknowledge the mistakes she made that contributed to the issues she had.

In the second book, Allison’s first foray into amateur sleuthing made a big impact on her life and that of her close friends. Allison was considerate of their  concern for her, especially when she finds herself having to solve the disappearance of two of her clients, and at the same time asserts her independence. I loved how Allison was able to do that without alienating anyone and taking their feelings into consideration. It’s a hard balance for a woman to stand on their own without pushing everyone away…and also not putting themselves in unnecessary danger. Allison knows when to turn to others for help and I find that an important (and sometimes) overlooked trait for a self-rescuing princess. I know at times I believe the only way to be ‘truly’ self-sufficient is to do something totally on one’s own but shutting one’s self away from others can be a lot easier than allowing people into your inner circle.

I really admire the character of Allison Campbell because I see being able to reach out when necessary, and still maintain the strength to stand on her own when she knows it’s in her best interest. Allison doesn’t take unnecessary risks, yet has no problem facing danger when it will help her clients and friends. I can’t wait to see what happens in Allison’s life in book three (Dying Brand).

NOTE: Currently, the ebook version of Deadly Assets is on sale for 99 cents. I don’t know how long the sale will last. Please pick up a copy if you’re interested in getting to know Allison Campbell better. The first book in the series is Killer Image, and the third just came out on Tuesday, Dying Brand.

Posted in Books, Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Anastasia Pollack

mosaic mayhem largerHello readers, today I’m going to be chatting with Anastasia Pollack from the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series. Welcome to the Self-Rescue Princes. My first question:

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

Mosaic Mayhem (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mystery)

The second novelette to the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.

So much for a romantic getaway…When cash-strapped mom and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack is offered an all-expense paid three-day trip to Barcelona, her only worries are whether her passport is still valid and arranging care for her semi-invalid mother-in-law during her absence. However, within hours of landing in Europe, she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun and needing to convince a Spanish crime syndicate they’ve kidnapped the wrong person. Why do people on both sides of the Atlantic keep trying to kill this pear-shaped, middle-aged single mom, and magazine crafts editor?

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

Well, it certainly wasn’t my idea! I’m a reluctant amateur sleuth, forced into dire circumstances where I’m constantly trying to keep from getting killed, thanks to author Lois Winston. She seems to take a huge amount of pleasure in getting me into trouble. Then she takes off for Aruba or Bermuda or who-knows-where, and I have to figure out a way to save my own neck.

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

Are you kidding? I have enough problems without playing Mighty Mouse or Underdog or Batman. Again, it’s all Lois Winston’s fault. Before she came along, I was living a typical middleclass life with my typical middleclass husband and two kids. I had a great job as the crafts editor for a women’s magazine. The next thing I know, I’m smack in the middle of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. My husband has dropped dead in Las Vegas after gambling away our life’s savings, and I’m stuck with no money, bills up the wazoo, a Mafia loan shark breathing down my neck, and my communist mother-in-law as a permanent houseguest. I ask you, what did I do to Lois Winston to deserve such treatment?

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

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m the least pleased. Zack Barnes comes in a close second. Zack is my tenant-turned-boyfriend. Given my financial situation, I was forced to move my studio to my cold, damp basement and rent out the apartment above my garage. Zack is the one bright spot in my life since Dead Louse of a Spouse done me wrong. He’s a globe-hopping photojournalist. Or maybe he’s a spy for one of the alphabet agencies. He denies it, of course, but don’t they all?

5.  What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m fabulous at juggling. I have to be, given my work schedule and my dysfunctional home life that not only includes me and my two teenage sons but the aforementioned communist mother-in-law, my self-proclaimed Russian princess mother, Manifesto the French bulldog, Catherine the Great Persian cat, and Ralph, the Shakespeare quoting parrot—all squeezed into a small three-bedroom ranch. And of course, thanks to Lois Winston, I also have to find time to solve murders and kidnappings.

My weakness? That would be coffee and Cloris Confections. Cloris is the food editor at our magazine. She also occasionally plays Watson to my Sherlock. Her cubicle is directly across the hall from mine, and she’s always tempting me with something yummy and fattening. Of course, she’s a Size Two with a fabulous metabolism that never gains an ounce. I’m pear-shaped and overweight and apparently genetically incapable of passing up anything with chocolate in it.

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

My current situation has taught me that you can’t depend on anyone. Forget the knight on a white charger. Chivalry is dead. If you want something done and done right, you have to be willing to do it yourself. I wish I’d learned that lesson years ago before I allowed Dead Louse of a Spouse to handle all our finances.

I’ve also found, given the situations Lois Winston has forced upon me lately, that you can’t necessarily depend on the police. They’ll hone in on the most likely suspect and build a case around that person. But when that person is you, and you know you’re innocent, you’ve got to find the real perpetrator yourself before you find yourself behind bars.

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

Never marry a man with a communist mother-in-law.

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

I learned I have skills I never knew I had. I’ve been able to get myself out of some sticky situations and figure out whodunit when no one else could. Still, I’d be more than happy to go back to my old life. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon. I have it on good authority that Lois Winston plans on writing many more full length Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries.

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

“It Sucks to be Me” from Avenue Q.

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

As I mentioned above, thanks to Lois Winston, I’ll be reluctantly sleuthing for many years to come.

Read Mosaic Mayhem:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EBA7EVI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EBA7EVI&linkCode=as2&tag=loiswins-20

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mosaic-mayhem-lois-winston/1116307100?ean=2940148651550&itm=1&usri=2940148651550

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=mosaic+mayhem

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mosaic-mayhem/id684033996?ls=1

Bookstore Without Borders: http://www.bookstorewithoutborders.com/ebooks/lois-winston/mosaic-mayhem/

Learn more about the author, Lois Winston:

Website: http://www.loiswinston.com and http://www.emmacarlyle.com

Blog: http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/anasleuth/

Sign up for Lois’s newsletter: LoisWinstonAuthorNewsletter-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Posted in Books, Excerpt, Scrapbooking, West Virginia, Writing

Designed to Death Excerpt

DESIGNED TO DEATH front under 2mbIn one week, September 10, Designed Death will be out. I’m nervous, excited…and a little scared. I always feel this way when a new book comes out. This will be Faith’s second case and I hope readers love it as much, if not more, than the first book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series.

Today, I’m going to share a little excerpt from Designed to Death:

The buzzer by the employee door sounded then stopped. After a gun-carrying criminal surprised me a few months ago, my grandmothers had Steve Davis add a security system by the back door. If the code wasn’t punched in quick enough, a warning alarm went off at the police station and in the prosecutor’s office where Steve―my grandmothers’ appointed knight-in-shining armor for me―worked.

“Belinda must have arrived,” I said.

Oliver drew in a breath and quickly rushed toward the front of the line.

“The end,” I called out to him.

I watched one of our customers snag Oliver’s arm and draw him to her side. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and flipped through the magazine. No one else in line seemed to care so I’d let it slide, and Belinda had promised not to leave until every magazine was signed.

Cold wind snaked through the building and I fought back a shiver. October could either be an extension of a warm fall or the beginning of a cold winter. Two years in a row, trick-or-treating had to be postponed because of snow. The October breeze swirled around the room and I scrambled to grab the class schedules and other advertisements that tumbled from the heavy plastic tables.

Belinda waltzed into the store, waving like a teenage girl crowned Homecoming Queen. My grandma Cheryl followed after her, doing her best not to roll her eyes. A few customers began whispering, straining their necks to get a good look at the newest Life Artist Diva.

“Please don’t let this title go to her head.” I muttered.

“Belinda, look over here! Over here!” A customer jumped up and down, holding her cell phone out as she tried to snap a picture.

“Belinda, the library thanks you for the generous gift.” Oliver waved his copy in the air.

“I must speak with Faith first.” Belinda gave another queenly wave, blew a kiss at Oliver, then headed for me.

When she spotted Karen and the photographer, she froze for an instant. In that moment, I saw uncertainty cross her face. The shy woman, who needed her mom to book her signings and appearances, shone through the new confident, celebrity “Belinda.”

“Belinda,” I almost screamed her name to draw her attention, “can you give me some pointers on the class?”

Belinda shook her head. “I can’t give out any secrets. Only those who paid for the class will get to learn this technique. I hope you have some way of making sure those who haven’t purchased a spot don’t get a free lesson.”

Did Belinda expect us to empty out the store when the class started? Or put up a huge partition? I cast a glance over at my grandmothers. Hope looked confused by the request and Cheryl beyond annoyed.

I was both, considering I had to now figure out how to incorporate this new demand from Belinda. “I’m not expecting any secrets. I just want to know which layout is the inspiration for your class.”

Belinda wagged her finger at me. “No sneak peeks. Not even for you.”

I heard Karen’s unladylike snort from across the room. I refrained from giving her the evil eye, and also swatting Belinda with the magazine. Yesterday alone, I had spent three hours on the phone making sure everything was just the way Hazel’s “baby” needed it. Talk about helicopter mom. I had been instructed on the noise level permitted in the classroom area, the temperature best suited for Belinda’s creativity, and how instructions couldn’t be included in the class kit because Belinda feared her idea would be distributed without her permission.

Neither my grandmothers nor I liked the last rule but we went along with it. When Belinda was named a L.A.D., scrappers within a four hour drive-time radius began calling, asking if we had any classes taught by Belinda on our schedule. Everyone considered Scrap This her home store, so they contacted us first and we didn’t want to disappoint them.

“Hard to set up the class properly without the instructions.” I picked up a copy of the magazine featuring Belinda and flipped through it. There couldn’t be too many designs that needed glue, boas, glitter and a hammer.