Books · Reviews

SRP Review:Drop Dead Ornaments by Lois Winston

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.

drop dead ornamentsDrop Dead Ornaments features Anastasia Pollack, a mother of teenagers and an editor for a craft magazine who finds herself drawn into a murder investigation when her son’s girlfriend’s father is accused of the crime.

Anastasia is a take-charge woman with a heart for her family–even her ex-family members who don’t (in my opinion) deserve her kindness. But, that trait is what makes Anastasia who she is and why I adore her so much. She knows these annoying family members flaws and deals with it the best she can. I love how the book not only focuses on the mystery but also what else is going on in the heroine’s life.

What I like best about Anastasia is how she balances her quest for justice with the needs and fears of her family. She has gotten herself into some huge scrapes in the past that have placed her life at risk and is doing what she can to assure her family she take her safety into consideration…though she can’t turn her back on someone in need. I also enjoy how Anastasia has a respectful “professional” relationship with the homicide detective. I sensed that while they both annoyed the other, they didn’t consider the other one an enemy.

I can’t wait to read more of her adventures and the progress of her relationship with her family and her boyfriend.

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Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Cora Chevalier from Assault and Beadery

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Assault and Beadery coverPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

All of my dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, I’ve been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of my first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, my friend Zee is accused of the crime.

I’m determined to prove my friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With my friends Jane and Ruby at my side I must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

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

My friend Zee is innocent. I know it. I have to help. It doesn’t seem like the police are helping her.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No, I never did. Even though I used to work at a women’s shelter, I have never been involved in a murder investigation until I moved to Indigo Gap.

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

I run a craft retreat and I’m a craft blogger. As to who’s least happy about my sleuthing, that would be a toss up between the local police and my boyfriend Adrian.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a people pleaser, which I think is a good and bad  trait. I want to help, but sometimes people  take advantage and I get myself into trouble. I’m creative and love to craft and write, but am not so good with details, like paying the bills and making things add up in the books!

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

Being able to rely on yourself, know that you can handle just about any situation. Also, part of being confident and strong is being vulnerable at times. Showing vulnerability is not a weakness.

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

Listen to that little voice inside of you and act on it.

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

People can fool you—and themselves.

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

I’ve hung up my hat—for now!

Books · Heroine Interviews · mystery

SRP Heroine Interview: Carrie Singleton from Read and Gone

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READ AND GONE coverPlease tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Recently, my life has been just about perfect. I love being the Clover Ridge Library’s head of programs and events. I have a great boyfriend and wonderful friends. And then my father, whom I haven’t seen in years and happens to be a thief, shows up at my cottage wanting me to help him get his half of a heist of gems from his crooked partner. As if I would ever do anything like that!

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

When my father’s partner-in-crime is found murdered, my father becomes suspect number one. Now crooked as his is, my father is no murderer and I feel obliged to clear his name. I must find those gems before my father or any of the several people searching for them finds them.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Yes, actually, since I helped solve a cold case and a recent murder in my community a few months ago.

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

I’d say Lieutenant John Mathers, the police chief of Clover Ridge Police Department, would rather I didn’t get involved in his cases. John is a good friend of my Uncle Bosco and he worries about my safety.

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

Some of us have grown up in a dysfunctional family as I did, but that’s no reason to let it interfere with having a wonderful, worthwhile rest of your life. Try not to be bitter; allow yourself to have loving, caring relationships. Unless it would be toxic to let a family member back into your life, be willing to give this person another chance if he/she has changed.

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

I realized how much I love my father. Growing up, I was very hurt because he was never around, even when he wasn’t in jail. Spending time with him as an adult, I saw that he loves me and shows it as best he can. Much as I’d like it, I cannot expect him to behave like a typical father.

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

You Can’t Choose the Members of Your Family

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

I intend to continue sleuthing when the need arises. To be perfectly honest, I LOVE sleuthing. It’s challenging and exciting!

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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

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

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

What made you take on such a risky endeavor?

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

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

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

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

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

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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

 

Books · mystery · Reviews

Review: The Discombobulated Decipherers by Julie Seedorf

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

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