Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Review: Alex “Red” Vlodnachek from Confessions of a Red Herring

CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING BANNER 640CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRINGWelcome, Red. Thank you so much for visiting us at The Self-Rescue Princess. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

I’m Alex Vlodnachek. My best friend, Trip, calls me “Red.” I was a reporter for a D.C. metro daily for a dozen years. Then I followed a higher paycheck to a boutique P.R. firm. Big mistake.

Short version: Boss is a sociopathic slime ball. Big public row with boss. Framed for boss’s murder.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Honestly, at this point, I feel like crime is fighting me.

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

That’s a toss up between my grandmother (Baba) and the killer. Neither one is very happy I’m trying to out a murderer.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Probably that I don’t stop to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. Face it, if I had that kind of mindset, I’d have never gotten into this mess.

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

Discovering who really killed my boss. Not for any altruistic motive, like “truth” or “justice,” either. I’m doing this for my own survival. Try finding a new job when you practically have “murder suspect” stamped on your forehead.

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

Eat more chocolate.

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

Trouble has a way of following me. Just recently, I took an evening to attend a glamorous cocktail party at the B&B across the street. I was thinking it would be fun. You know, put on a nice dress and enjoy a glass of champagne, a little small talk, a few canapés. Instead, I got pulled into a missing person’s case. And that was before I found a body.

 

Dana Dratch is the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING. A former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer, she’s currently writing the sequel, SEEING RED — which has Alex, Trip, rescue-pup Lucy, and the whole crazy Vlodnachek family going up against spies, art thieves, and a very determined murderer.  

Connect with her at:

Website (and blog): ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17143743.Dana_Dratch

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/dana-dratch

Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/danadratch

 

CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news.

Now she’s the headline.

 

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story

And unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list. And Alex is on it.

Advertisements
Books · mystery

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

murder of a good man

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

GINGER SNAPPED large banner new 640

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

DISCOMBOBULATED large banner 640 (1)

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 · mystery

SRP Heroine Interview: Cat Enright from The Mane Equation

themaneequationWelcome to the Self-Rescue Princess, Cat. I know the holiday season is extremely busy for many people so I’m so happy you made time to chat with my readers.

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

My dad, whom, I’ve spoken to about three times in the past ten years, was sure someone was trying to kill him. My life as a horse trainer in Tennessee had become confusing, due to some unexpected personal relationships, so I jumped at the chance to “run away” and visit Dad at Canterbury Park, a horseracing track in Shakopee, Minnesota. Turns out my dad was right, but it took the help of my Tennessee friends and the (possibly) psychic mare, Sally Blue, to figure it out.

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

Well, he’s my dad. Biological, at least. After my mom died when I was nine, Dad pretty much abandoned me to “the drink,” as he calls it. My feelings about him are complicated, and even though I absolutely want to stay mad at him for the rest of my life, I don’t want anything bad to happen to him.

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

Not ever! But my ex-movie star neighbor was killed and I stumbled across her body. Then there was a murder at a horse show, and after that my best friend, country music star Melody Cross, was killed. What was I supposed to do? Just sit back and watch the police make a mess of things? No offense to my friend Deputy Martin Giles. He’s one of the good guys.

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

I train show horses full time. Or, at least, that’s what I am supposed to be doing. Definitely, my barn manager, Jon Gardner, is not pleased when I start to snoop. I understand his concern, as the horses need me and all my undone chores fall to him. Jon also has feelings for me that I am not sure I reciprocate, but he is a dear friend.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Well, I have this teensy problem with anger management. My Irish nature allows situations to build and then everything explodes out of me. I’m working on it, though. I’ve also been known to break and enter (make that snoop) uninvited through my neighbors’ homes. But it is all with the best of intentions––and with their best interests in mind. On the good side, I am very loyal and have a strong sense of right and wrong. And, horses and dogs like me.

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

My grandmother raised me to be self-sufficient. As she used to say, “Never underestimate a Southern woman. She’ll rip your heart out, show it to you, and then bake it in a pie.” I guess two out of three isn’t bad. I never got the hang of cooking. But, my grandmother’s sentiments ring true all the same. It’s important to me to know that I can depend on myself in any situation. And yes, I’ve had to be rescued a time or two, but I’ve done more than my share of rescuing in return.

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

Be who you are, and be proud of you. Then make informed decisions that will increase your pride in yourself, not decrease it. And, when the scumbags come crawling into your life, swat them away. You deserve better.

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

Not to sit too close to my potential step-mother’s dog. A second lesson was not to assume anything. At all. Facts are what count.

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

I never intend to get involved, but it seems that people I know are always dying. Jon strongly prefers that I do no more sleuthing, but if a wrong has been done to a friend I feel compelled to help bring the perpetrator to justice. After all, that’s what friends do.

 

Books · Cooking · mystery

HH 6: Cookin’ Up Crime

cooking up crimeI’m thrilled to be part of Happy Homicides 6: Cookin’ Up Crime anthology that was released on Friday. My story is titled Simmer to Death: Did sibling rivalry lead to the poisoning of an up-and-coming food personality? Or were simmering hostilities among the staff the real recipe for murder?

A little tidbit about Simmer to Death:

Simmer to Death was originally going to feature Faith Hunter, my heroine from the Scrap This Series, and her future mother-in-law Odessa who appeared in Masked to Death, but Faith didn’t want to be a part of the story. I kept the setting for the plot, a cooking demonstration and played around with a couple different characters until one of them took over. The story actually evolved better when the original POV character became the victim and the original murderer became the POV character and unwitting sleuth.

I hope everyone will grab a copy at our discounted price of 99 cents. Here’s the link: http://www.bit.ly/HH6CookinUpCrime.

Everyday Life · mystery · Writing

Overwhelmed by Changes

I feel like I’ve been missing-in-action for months on my blog and Facebook. I can’t believe it’s been since mid-June that I’ve actively engaged in this part of my life. And I do enjoy it. I love being able to keep with family and friends, share what’s been going on in my life, finding new crafts to create and books to read. But since this summer things…okay time, to be exact, got away from me and I allowed myself to wallow just a little too much in the overwhelming sea of changes going on in my life.

I’m a planner and having unexpected changes pop up throws my whole being into a sense of chaos. I find it hard to get my bearings and put together a new plan to merge all the must-dos and need-to-dos  into order. In the scheme of issues and problems one has to face, mine weren’t that horrible or unmanageable. Just a few too many unexpected ones at the same time.

IMG_2109There was the foot injured that was likely a stress fractured and kept me out of my garden, and pretty much house bound, except for work during the whole summer. It wasn’t easy walking around in the boot, or going up and downstairs, which the doctor told me was the whole point in it, keeping me off my foot. The treachery of navigating stairs had me writing on a laptop upstairs rather than in my office. On the bright side, at least I wasn’t in the boot while we were in California. It would’ve made getting around Disneyland, the Safari Park, and all the wineries difficult.

I hated not being able to tend to my garden as it was a hobby I enjoyed. Sadly, the lack of attention, combined with the heat and humidity, left our plants in dire condition. We didn’t get much produce, and a lot of the plants succumbed to the heat and squash bugs that attacked the garden.

Then came the unexpected home renovation bathroom project which my friend named Armageddon. We had a recurring mold issue in our bathroom, and got tired of cleaning it, so we called a mold specialist to remove it, figuring it would be gone once and for all. And it is–actually the whole bathroom is gone. Eliminated.

 

For someone who does better with plans, this chaos, along with our decision to start rearranging the house, threw me for a huge loop. And I’m not big on twisty, turning roller coasters which is what I felt I’ve been on for the last few months. Every plan I had made kept getting thrown out.

As for the rearranging of the house–that was the result of another change I knew was coming but just not now. I knew our college junior would be leaving home soon. Just not mid-August soon. I had figured he’d stay until he graduated in two years, instead he moved to where he could go to college and was also being considered for a job with the police force. Since our last child was leaving the nest, we decided to move some of the rooms around to better suit our needs (moving my husband’s office from the room at the far end of the garage into my old office, and my office and crafting studio upstairs as it has more natural light (better for crafting). I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready for the change of having no children at home. I still struggle with it as being mom has been the major part of my identity for such a long time–since I was twenty-one. But time moves on. And I know my children need to move on, and forward, to accomplish their goals and dreams.

Which bring me to my writing, my dream, and the new-to-me dilemma of having my main character snub me. I finished Altered to Death, the sixth Scrap This mystery (release date Nov 28! pre-order is available), and was excited to begin a new book in the series. I sat down to write…and nothing. I had two main plot ideas and played around with them, but it was going nowhere. Then I tried writing a short-story featuring Faith and again it went nowhere. It was like Faith didn’t want to be in it. She didn’t want to talk to me. I tried getting her engaged in the plot but everything sounded to me like the author (me) was moving the character around the scenes. She wasn’t coming across as being an active participant. The story was going nowhere.

What was I to do? There were other ideas for books I had wanted to write, a romantic suspense I wrote a few years that I could polish or rewrite to send off. Or…I wasn’t sure. It had been a long time since I wasn’t sure what to write, where I didn’t have an idea chasing me around demanding to be written.

So, I decided fine, I just won’t write for a month. I’ll use the time to put my house back together. And of course that’s when the next book came to me…a new character. A new series. A new mystery featuring a crafting heroine who will be trying to move forward with her dreams as her children are seeking hers. She’s talking to me. A lot. I’m enjoying getting to know her.

And I know I’ll hear from Faith again. I guess we just needed a little break from each other. At least her new adventure will be out soon. Here’s what she’ll be up to:

AlteredToDeath front sm (2)

Even knee-deep in planning her wedding, Faith Hunter finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved. When a search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on the property and ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim, Faith is determined to dig up the truth left behind.

Meanwhile, family friend Wyatt Buford asks Faith to look into his deadbeat father’s disappearing act and his connection to the murder. Her quest for answers unearths secrets past and present that some would prefer stay buried at any cost. Faith’s resolve to present the facts and nothing but about Eden’s history could lead to her own future being cut short.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Altered-Death-Faith-Hunter-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0758DG23P

Barnes and Noble:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/altered-to-death-christina-freeburn/1127044022?ean=2940158764622