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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: 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: Winnie Johnson from Eclair and Present Danger

ECLAIR AND PRESENT DANGER    large banner640I’m excited today to have Winnie Johnson joining us at the Self-Rescue Princess.

ECLAIR AND PRSENT DANGERWinnie, please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

For as far back as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do was bake.  The process of mixing ingredients together to make something delicious was pretty amazing all on its own. But when your creation got a moan of delight out of someone? That was the best. So you could say it was the realization of a lifelong dream when I opened my own bakery, Delectable Delights.

Things were going great until Nick Batkas, my bakery’s landlord raised the rent so high there was no way I could stay in business.

That is until I got word that my dear sweet neighbor, Gertrude Redenbacher named me in her will.

Yes, I admit I was imagining an envelope of cash—just enough to keep my dream alive.

But Gertie didn’t leave me money.

Instead, she left me her cat, Lovey (who loves everyone but me), and the vintage ambulance her late husband was restoring prior to his own death.

So yeah, good bye lifelong dream.

As you can imagine, I was rather down in the dumps when I left the bakery that last day, but I had to keep my emotions at bay until I made good on a promise to another late friend. You see, once a week, I make and deliver a peach pie to Bart Wagner, my neighbor across the street. He’s been having a tough time lately on account of losing his wife of nearly fifty years.

So I made the pie.

And walked it across the street and into Bart’s house.

I hated going into his house like that, but when he didn’t answer, and the door was unlocked, I went inside. You know, just to make sure he was okay.

That’s when I found him on the floor—dead, suffocated with one of his own pillows.

I have to do something, don’t I? About my bakery and Bart.

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

Bart and his wife, Ethel were my neighbors and my friends. Losing Ethel was hard. She was like a second grandmother to me. I promised her I’d look after Bart with a peach pie every week. And I was doing that. Just like I promised. But seeing him like that? Murdered in his own home? It made me mad (after I screamed, of course).

I live on a street of elderly people—elderly people I adore. And to see them afraid for their life because a murderer is on the loose, isn’t okay with me.

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Um, no. I’m a baker, not a fighter.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Hmmm…

I would say my strength and my convictions go hand in hand. I know what I like and I don’t change that for anyone. I’m loyal to a fault (as evidenced by the cat who is now living with me) and I’m respectful of the fact that I need to bake. It makes me whole.

As far as my weaknesses, my confidence (in terms of dating) isn’t too high. I think I’m just content with the company my elderly neighbors and my best friend, Renee provide. Or maybe that’s just a cop out…

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

For me, being a self-rescue princess means not needing a man to complete me. It means listening to my gut. And it means believing in myself and my abilities.

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

Right now? I’d have to say that old song, Roll With It Baby by Steve Winwood. Because right now that’s exactly what I need to do in regards to my career, my life, and this promise I made to my friends that I will find Bart’s killer.

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

I wish I could say I get to hang up that hat, but I don’t.

Because next March (in Silence of the Flans), a student at the local college is going to be poisoned. And, seeing as how it’s one of my desserts she’ll be eating when she keels over, I kind of sort of need to get to the bottom of things if there’s any hope of keeping my Emergency Dessert Squad on the road…

 

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.

 

SRP Heroine Interview: JJ MacGregor from Death by Trombone

 

 

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death by tromboneI’d like to give JJ a warm welcome for stopping by the Self-Rescue Princess to chat with us. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Life has been a little hectic, but when isn’t it? As if it weren’t enough to deal with my rotten ex-husband, and a teen-aged son in love, and all that stuff that schools do at the end of the year, we had a body behind the gym. I really tried to stay out of that, but then Chief Karlson arrested the music teacher, and we needed her to direct the band for graduation, and, well, you know how one thing leads to another. But really, I wasn’t interfering. I just stumbled into things.

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

Like I said, I didn’t “decide to take on” anything. I just kept stumbling over—I mean, into—things. It’s hardly my fault if people tell me things, and I can’t help thinking, can I?

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Oh, sure. I mean, doesn’t every kid who ever read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys? I never actually expected it to happen to me, though. I mean, I moved to Pismawallops Island partly because it was such a quiet, safe place.

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

Oh, that’s an easy one. I’ve been sort of seeing, well, not really dating or anything, but I’ve spent some time talking to—and he might’ve kissed me once or twice, too—Chief Karlson. The Police Chief. I’d have to say he’s not very happy about me asking questions and thinking about what he calls “police business.” I think he’s worried I’ll get hurt, which might make some sense, but I hurt myself worse all on my own, and anyway, I’m not a sleuth. I just like to know stuff.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a very direct and straight-forward person. You get two-for-one there. I sometimes get into trouble because I’m not very good at tact and all that. But I go straight for the answers, and that’s helpful when you’re solving a problem. My son, Brian, insists that I add that it’s helpful when it doesn’t encourage people to try to kill you, and I suppose he has a point. And I like knowing things, which is healthy, right?

I don’t really like admitting I have any weaknesses. I’m just the same about not wanting to need help. But I guess I could say that I have a bit of a temper. Some might call that a fault.

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

That’s what I’m talking about, see? A strong, confident woman doesn’t need any help. Except I keep getting into situations where a bit of help comes in handy, but that’s just bad luck.

Okay, if I’m really honest, which I’d rather not be, but you’re pressing me here, I’d have to say that I’d love to know what a strong confident woman feels like, because I’m not, you know. My confidence got pretty well tromped on in the divorce, and Kitty would probably say in the marriage, too. I’m just trying to prove to myself and anyone who wants to know that I can manage on my own. I have a son who needs a mom, not a doormat, so I make the effort.

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

I have never planned on dabbling in sleuthing. In any case, I don’t dabble. I just do things. And I’ve promised Ron Karlson I won’t get involved. But, you know, things just seem to happen to Kitty and me. Things like dead bodies. So, there’s this awful man I was working for over the summer, and someone killed him, and since people had heard me say he was a bloviating windbag and a rather unpleasant character, I may need to do a little research to prove I wasn’t running around bashing people on the head…

 

National Craft Month: Cropped to Death Excerpt

I had hoped to have a crafting blog post ready for today but it’s been hectic at the office this week and my hours work hours needing shifting around, so I didn’t have time to finish making my project. This month, I’ve celebrating National Craft Month by alternating between different hobbies: scrapbooking, crocheting, and coloring. I had thought about chatting about my experience with making a photo book through Shutterfly, but as we don’t have the book yet (and I did a scrapbooking post last week) I thought it better to wait.

CROPPED front smSince Cropped to Death is currently on sale for 99 cents for the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks, I thought I’d share an excerpt of Faith preparing for a beginning scrapbooking class–and she gets interrupted.

Excerpt: 

I headed into the paper racks, weaving through the reds and yellows to reach the browns. The hues ranged from sand to a brown so dark it could pass for black. What shade and texture should I use tonight?

A smoother paper worked better for beginners, as it was easier for tearing and for making other embellishments, but I had no idea the skill level of the women signed up for the contest class and mini crop. A texture cardstock added an extra dimension to the work and gave the beginning layout a little edge. If using it for a border, tearing the texture paper added a nice jagged effect with feathering detail.

Maybe a sheet of both styles using a monochromatic scheme. That worked. A deeper beige mixed with a sand almost white shade. Neutrals worked well with any photos. I’d take a look at the students’ pictures when they arrived and pull complementary colors showcased in the photos.

Time to pick embellishments. I gathered up sheets of letter stickers in a variety of fonts and colors for the layout titles. I stopped in front of the clear stamps and picked out an alphabet set. I’d buy the stamps and share them tonight with the class. Hopefully, they’d love them so much, the two attendees would want a set for themselves. To save some money, I’d go with standard neutral paint colors. If the croppers wanted a hue with a little more pop, they could purchase it.

The bell above the door jangled. I took the items out of the basket and arranged them in piles on the tables. Before the crop started, I wanted to check on the amount of choices offered for the class participants. I snapped my fingers. Items for the prize basket.

A shadow fell over me. I jerked upright, and the wind whooshed in my ears even though I was inside. This fear issue was getting annoying. I hated feeling vulnerable. Taking in a deep breath, my heart rate slowed to normal as I realized a new customer, not a stalker, entered into the store.

A dark-haired woman in her late teens hovered behind me. Two splotches of red bloomed on her cheeks and she stammered. “I was wondering if. Well, if you could…would you mind…”

I smiled and waved my hand over the products on the table. “It’s not too late to sign up for the crop tonight.”

She pushed a piece of paper toward me. “I was wondering if…”

I held my pleasant smile and waited.

“If I could… like… get…”

The smile strained my cheeks.

“Your autograph.”

“My what?” I kept my reaction in check, uncertain if amusement or anger was more appropriate.

“Aren’t you the owners’ granddaughter? The one mentioned in the paper?”

I went with anger. Before the scolding exploded from my mouth, the young woman turned and fled out the door. Why couldn’t the store reach celebrity status because of our awesome customer service rather than because of murder?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend, and is able to enjoy their families and their hobbies.

 

National Craft Month: Fatal Brushstroke Excerpt

I hope everyone is enjoying National Craft Month as much as I am. Currently, I’m reading A Body in the Landscape by Larissa Reinhart, and this weekend I enjoyed three days of cropping at a local crop retreat sponsored by the Rotary Club. I was able to complete my daughter’s scrapbook album (a mix of pocket scrapbooking and traditional layouts) and also uploaded a bunch of pictures to Shutterfly and had them printed. I have two crops coming up in April and didn’t want to run out of photos to scrap at the events.

To continue with my monthly celebration of National Craft month is an brief excerpt from Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson.

fatal brushstrokeExcerpt: 

At home, too wired to sleep yet too tired to work, Rory pulled out the project Nora had given her and spread it out on the empty half of the kitchen table. Before painting on the final product, she wanted to practice the strokes spelling out Samantha’s name. She considered several styles of brush lettering, settling on one that was at the least elaborate end of the spectrum.

Rory drew guidelines on practice paper with a soft pencil, then loaded a flat brush with a fifty-fifty mixture of black acrylic paint and water. After painting the three strokes necessary to produce a capital S, she reviewed her work. She hadn’t lifted her brush quickly enough at the end of each stroke to produce the sharp edges she desired. She tried again, this time writing the full name several times, concentrating on correcting the strokes and keeping the spacing between the letters consistent. After covering two pages with the name, she gave up for the evening, still unhappy with the result. Her hands were too shaky from lack of sleep to produce the letters to her satisfaction.

Blurb:

A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…

Computer programmer and tole painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weeks before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?

Right now, Fatal Brushstroke is on sale for 99 cents, and I don’t know how long the sale will last.