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.

 

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Books · mystery

SRP Heroine Guest: Nora Alexander from Murder of a Good Man

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murder of a good man coverHi there.  My name is Nora Alexander coming to you from Piney Woods Texas. I came here to deliver a letter and am staying at the lovely Piney Woods Bed and Breakfast.  Piney Woods is in East Texas near the Louisiana border. When oil went bust in Texas, this town had to find a new way to survive. There is still evidence of a more thriving economy, like that run-down hotel on Main Street. Someone could really do something with that place.

What’s that you say? What’s wrong with the post office?

Not a thing, but there are some things you just have to do yourself. My mother just passed away and now I have this letter. Even though she was too sick to tell me, I think getting this letter delivered had to be one of her final wishes.  The recipient of the letter is Mr. Adam Brockwell. In our entire time together, I never heard her mention this man’s name.  Did she owe him money? Is he a relative? An old boyfriend? Whoever he was, he was important enough to be on her mind in her final days.

I haven’t delivered the letter yet, but here’s the thing. When I drove into to town today, there was a billboard that said Adam Brockwell for Piney Woods Pioneer. I’m guessing this is some sort of local honor that they bestow on a helpful citizen. He sounds like he must be a good man. Once more, I’m leaning toward the old boyfriend theory. What do you think?

Okay. My writer is bugging me to tell you to be sure to enter the giveaway for this book. You can enter below for your chance at an ecopy of Murder of a Good Man or a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

 

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 · 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.

 

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….

 

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.

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