Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Confessions of a Red Herring-by Dana Dratch-Great Escapes Tour-Spotlight

About the book 
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.

And others are saying 
Well written with an intricate plot, CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING is a good debut book for author Dana Dratch.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

While a red-headed Vlodnachek might not be the full attraction here, Alexandra’s family and close-knit support group provide a lively and fun romp through the storyline.
~Rosepoint Publishing
And I thought
Where to begin.  First I have to say for a new series this one is gonna be 'Killer'!  From the first page I was drawn in and I could 
not put this one down.
I was cheering Alex all the way!  While she desperately tried to 
figure out what the heck was going on I felt I was one step ahead of her yelling 'Go girl.'  
Being a person of interest in a murder isn't a great way to start a week.  And then as the week goes on things get worse as Alex becomes a prime suspect.   And then the victim when the 
wife of the deceased decides Alex is the murderer because she is 'the other woman'.
Things seem to go from  bad to worse when her younger brother and his wife(?) and puppy appear on her doorstep.  Followed shortly by their Russian grandmother when she hears all the drama on the news.  
But there just might be a little light at the end of the tunnel and maybe a little glimmer off hope in the form of the hot new neighbor across the street.  Who is turning his house into a B&B.
There are some great characters running around and helping Alex out.  
There are also a bunch of suspects.  
Dana did a great job of introducing everyone and the story just flowed.  
Alex's family even the ones that aren't around are introduced and flow into the story.  They'll be a big part I expect of future 
There's another brother living in NYC who sends money to help Alex out.  The super model sister who now owns a modeling agency and is in Paris with the mom.   Thank goodness for that 
mom home during a murder investigation would have driven everyone nuts.  Alex's brother went from being dead broke and out of a job to pastry chef for the new B&B.  
The girlfriend was quite the # a waitress he met in Vegas. She turns out to be a good sleuth and very willing to help solve the crimes. 
If I had to choose a favorite character it would really be hard. 
I loved them all.  
From the grandmother who was a bad cook but could take out the bad guys with an iron skillet.
To Alex's best friend Trip.  He was a great guy and always ready to help except when asked to pretend to be Alex's fiance.  As much as he loves Alex as his best friend it's not in the cards.
He already has a partner that I expect we will meet in future installments maybe.  He was left completely out of the drama and only mentioned in passing.  Hmm what might be up with that?
Ian the new neighbor is British and charming and is in the wings waiting to get to know Alex better. 
I have to say the only thing I didn't like about the story/plot was 
that in the end Gabby the Las Vegas girlfriend decided to return to her previous boyfriend in Vegas.  She was a great part of the 
story and I'll miss her.  Maybe she won't find true love there after all.  We can only hope.  
Confessions of a Red Herring was filled with fun and funny 
characters.  A good 'ole mystery(s) and a great twisty turning plot that keeps you interested all the way to the end when Grandma 
clobbers one of the villains with her skillet.  

It was a great read.  I can't wait for the next one!  The author included a preview of Seeing Red.  How long do we have to wait?

I received a complimentary copy. 
This review will appear on retail sites, Net Galley & Good Reads

Guest Post

I’m Alex Vlodnachek, former reporter, ex-P.R. rep, current murder suspect. Pretty much in that order.

After being fired and framed for murder, it was actually kind of a nice surprise when Nick and Gabrielle (my brother and his new bride), showed up and wanted to stay for a while. Of course, they didn’t tell me about their dog: a puppy named Lucy. Or my new sister-in-law’s business. Some kind of online store that involves moving mountains of shipping boxes in and out of my tiny bungalow.

Hey, when they said they’d pay rent, I was relieved that I’d be able to stretch my savings to make the mortgage for a few months while I was looking for someone who’d actually hire a murder suspect.

Anyway, this is what happened the next morning:

When I opened my eyes the next morning, I ached. Everywhere.

Worse, I felt a strange pressure in the vicinity of my rib cage.

I blinked a couple of times. A blurry, doe-colored shape shifted, sighed, and rolled off my chest, taking most of the covers. Lucy.

“Coffee,” I said aloud. “Need. Coffee.”

Lucy yawned and moved into the warm spot I’d vacated. So much for constant companionship.

I grabbed my robe and padded out to the kitchen. A  sharp rap on the front door made me jump.

“Come on! We’re going to be late!” Trip.

I threw open the door, and my best friend gave me  the once over. “Love the hair. You trade the blow dryer for an eggbeater? Oh my God, what the hell happened in here? It looks like a frat house exploded.”

I looked around the living room. He was right. Pizza boxes littered the floor, with two congealed slices on the coffee table. Sofa cushions and crumpled soda cans were scattered around the room. There  was an empty cake box, on its side, in front of one chair. The stack of mailing cartons in the corner had morphed into a small mountain. And the place reeked of cigarettes.

Somehow, I didn’t think I could blame this one on Lucy. Not unless she’d learned how to dial Dominos and started chain-smoking Salems. “

“Someone throw a party?” Trip asked, eyeing the wreckage.

“Nick and Gabrielle were burning the midnight oil when I got back last night. Apparently, she runs some kind of online business, and she’s a night owl. So they were up late working.”

Retrieving a gold pen from the inside jacket pocket of his pristine light gray, chalk-stripe suit, Trip gingerly picked up a purple lace thong from the back of a chair. “Hate to break it to you, Red, but that’s not all they were doing.”

I rolled my eyes. “What are you doing here? What are we going to be late for?”

“Your dental appointment, remember?”

I smacked myself on the forehead. “With everything else going on, I totally blanked.”

“Big surprise,” he said skeptically. “You’re still not getting out of it.”

When it comes to visiting the dentist, I am a total wuss. So Trip and I have an agreement. He comes to the dentist with me. And I help run interference every year when his great Aunt Camille comes to town. Not a perfect system, but it works for us.
“’What did you mean ‘when I got back,’” he said. “Where were you last night? Hot date? New job?”

“Long story.”

“That’s OK, we can still make this work,” Trip said, shooing me toward my bathroom. “You go get ready. I’ll tidy up a little, and we’ll get you to Dr. Drill-and-Fill  fashionably late.”

“Did you get a dog?” he called after me.

I looked over my shoulder and saw Lucy sitting in front of him, staring up. “She belongs to Nick and Gabrielle. She loves shoes, and she pees on things.”

“Gabrielle or the dog?”

When I glanced in the bathroom mirror,  I understood Trip’s crack about my hair. I’d been so tired when I got home, all I could think about was a shower and sleep. I fell into bed without even combing my wet hair. Now I looked like  The Bride of Frankenstein.

I’m what’s politely referred to as “strawberry  blonde.” Heavy on the strawberry.

No time for vanity. I smoothed my fright wig back with a little water and a lot of mousse and pulled it into a ponytail. Then I gave my teeth a thorough brushing and followed up with mouthwash and floss. Hey, I don’t want Dr. Braddock to think I’m a total heathen.

I threw on a sweater and jeans, grabbed my mascara and lipstick from the bathroom counter, and jammed them into my purse.

When I skidded to a stop in the living room, Trip was closing a trash bag and chatting with Lucy, who was looking up at him lovingly.

The pillows were all back in place. And the cans, pizza, and food boxes were gone. I was hoping the purple thong had gone with them, but I didn’t want to ask.

“I gave the beast a potty break, so we’re all set,” he  said.

“If you drive, I can put on my make-up in the car.”

“Works for me.” Turning to Lucy, he added, “Now, you be a good girl and remember what I said.”

“What did you say?”

He narrowed his blue eyes. “Never you mind. That’s between me and the little beast.” Lucy gazed at him, besotted.

I gave her a quick pat, and we bolted for the door.

Want to hear more? Check out CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING.

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