Posts Tagged With: comedy

Guest Post: Probably Pretty Proficient

by Amy Metz, author of The Goose Pimple Junction Mystery Series

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Click on Book Cover to check out Amy Metz’ entire Goosepimple Mystery series on Amazon.

In the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series, the goosepimpleisms and Goose Pimplese are plentiful. The former are euphemisms, and the latter is the way the locals talk. When Tess arrives in Goose Pimple Junction in book 1, she has a little bit of trouble understanding the Goose Pimple culture. Luckily, she has Jackson to translate for her. By Book 4, Tess has come a long way in speaking and understanding Goose Pimplese, and Louetta tests her abilities, with Lou’s homemade award of a mason jar on top of a candlestick at stake. Can you pass the test? If you can, you’re eligible for the Probably Pretty Proficient award.

ProbablyPrettyProficient

Do you speak Goose Pimplese?

  1. Translate: “Let’s skwinta the diner.”
  2. What would you do with bob war?”
  3. Define this: ‘sump’n teet.'”
  4. If I said Pickle was the sinner of the basketball team, would I be implying he needs to go to church more often?
  5. Translate “sumose.”
  6. Translate “Utcha doon.”
  7. What do you do with a flosswater?
  8. Translate “Wongo.”
  9. Translate “Yonto.”
  10. Translate “Impa tickler.”

Answers

  1. Let’s go into the diner.
  2. Make a barbwire fence.
  3. Something to eat.
  4. No. You’re saying he plays center on the team.
  5. Some of those.
  6. Whatcha doing?
  7. Swat flies.
  8. Do you want to go?
  9. Do you want to?
  10. In particular.

 

How’d you do?

5 answers right: you’re in a heap of trouble.

8 answers right: you’re satisfactual.

10 answers right: Pull out the mason jar, hon. You’re probably pretty proficient.

About the Book

GPJ4Cover

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction is the latest in Amy Metz best selling mystery series. Released today! Click on book cover to get it now at Amazon!

Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

 

 

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Amy Metz is the best-selling author of the Goose Pimple Mystery series. Click on author pick to visit her website to learn more!

About the Author

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase.

 

 

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Lauren Carr’s Latest Mystery: TWELVE to MURDER

Mac Faraday’s plan to spend a quiet weekend home alone with his lady love, Archie Monday, is shattered by murder.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr's latest is Twelve to Murder, a Mac Faraday Mystery. Click on Book Cover to order on Amazon.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr’s latest is Twelve to Murder, a Mac Faraday Mystery. Click on Book Cover to order on Amazon.

A middle aged couple are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. To any other detective, the case would be considered open and shut when it appears as if one of the victims has written her killer’s name in her blood—not so for Mac Faraday, who believes there is more to this case than meets the eye.

Anyone who is near the news can’t help but hear about the fall of one child star or teenybopper idol after another. Miley Cyrus twerking everywhere. Lindsay Lohan going in and out of rehab like it had a revolving door. Has-beens arrested and committing suicide or dying of overdoses. In the eighties, Corey Haim was a very successful child star, became a teen-idol, and ended up dead before he was forty.

For best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, such stories cause her to ask “What if…”

Such was the seed that inspired Twelve to Murder. “What if,” Lauren said, “a very intelligent boy reached his peak before even reaching legal drinking age? What are the emotional effects to an extremely intelligent young man when he realizes he’ll never reach the same level of success that he had when he was a teenager? How does it feel to be a has-been? What would such a person do when suddenly, he is featured on the news again, only this time, it is because he has been accused of a double homicide?”

In Lauren Carr’s latest Mac Faraday Mystery, such is the case of former child-star and teen-idol Lenny Frost when he steps into a pub in Deep Creek Lake to see his face on the television over the bar with the announcement that once again, he’s wanted…for the murder of his agent and her husband!

How does Lenny Frost react to this sudden celebrity? He takes everyone hostage and gives Mac Faraday twelve hours to find the real killer or he’s going to kill everyone in the bar.

Find out all there is to know about Lauren Carr and Mac Faraday's latest case in the Twelve to Murder Virtual Book Tour. Click on the Tour Banner for the tour schedule.

Find out all there is to know about Lauren Carr and Mac Faraday’s latest case in the Twelve to Murder Virtual Book Tour. Click on the Tour Banner for the tour schedule.

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

Mystery Author Lauren Carr and Gnarly. Yes, Gnarly is a handful. Click on author pic to visit Lauren's website.

Mystery Author Lauren Carr and Gnarly. Yes, Gnarly is a handful.
Click on author pic to visit Lauren’s website.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder will be out in 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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Hot Coco Is Nothing Like Fifty Shades … Except

Today’s post is from Cindy McDonald, author of the Unbridled Series and First Force–Coming Soon! But, today, Cindy is going to tell us about something she shares with E.L. James, the author of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.

Hot Coco

Hot Coco is the second installment in Cindy McDonald’s Unbridled Series. It is either hated or loved by readers. (Click on Book Cover to view on Amazon.)

HOT COCO IS NOTHING LIKE FIFTY SHADES… EXCEPT

 

That old adage is oh so true: You can’t please everyone. This is especially true if you’re an author. The fact is that readers are different on many levels. I’m not necessarily talking about genres. Everyone interprets what they have read differently. I find this truly amazing. You can give the same book to five different readers and come up with five different opinions/versions on the very same story.

I suppose a good example of what I’m trying to say is the book FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E L James. Wow! The opinions and reviews for that book are truly diverse. Some readers/reviewers absolutely love the book, while others absolutely hate the story, and there are those who will not read it because of the reviews—good or bad. They simply don’t want to deal with the content—whatsoever.

The fact is that the reviews are pretty split with E L James’ best-selling novel. Well let me tell ya something folks…you don’t have to have a best-selling novel for readers/reviewers to be on different sides of the train track.

In June of 2012 I released the second book from my Unbridled Series, HOT COCO. The first book in the series, DEADLY.COM, was a murder/suspense book, but HOT COCO was a romantic comedy. It is the story of a woman, Coco Beardmore, who is beautiful, wealthy, and a total klutz. She wreaks havoc everywhere she goes. The thing is that Coco is aware that men see her for her beauty and wealth. Coco knows that she’s a train wreck, and she wants so very badly to change.  On the other side of the coin is another woman in the book, Margie O’Conner. She’s not beautiful. Margie is down-right homely, and she has been a victim of her father’s subjugation all her life—she is also illiterate.

The book is about two women’s journey to change:  Coco to become a respected, more in charge woman, and Margie to find the courage to stand up to her father and learn to read and write. Seems like a simple concept, doesn’t it?  Well, I’ve got a total split in my readership. Some of the readers love the book—they love Coco and all of her klutzy debacles—she endears herself to many of my readers—just as I hoped she would.

Uh, oh, but then there are the readers who absolutely hate the book, and Coco, and Coco’s debacles. I had one reader call the book rubbish—ouch!

The funny thing about the book is that most—almost none of the reviewers/readers really ever mention Margie in their reviews. It’s almost as if they totally missed this woman and the courage that she finally found and the change in her relationship with not only the people around her, but with her father as well.

Yes HOT COCO is a romantic comedy, but it is also a book that requires one to read a little more deeply or you will miss what I am trying to show you. You will miss the metamorphosis and the forgiveness that all of the characters are searching for.

When I check my books on Amazon or Goodreads and I see that HOT COCO has a new review I find myself taking a braced breath before I read it, because it’s a love/hate thing. The review will either be wonderful or perfectly awful. Do I regret publishing HOT COCO? Absolutely not!  Like it or hate it, people do read the book, and they are certainly entitled to their opinion. I just wish that some of them would read it more closely/carefully—they might find it surprisingly enlightening.

FIFTY SHADES has thousands of reviews—some are glowing and some are down-right nasty.  I doubt that E L James even bothers to check them—I don’t think she really cares, and why should she? I don’t exactly have the same luxury as E L James, but at least I know that I am in good company.

ABOUT THE CINDY McDONALD

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

Even though she was a professional dancer, Cindy McDonald chose her husband's hobby of Thoroughbred racing for the backdrop of her UnBridled Series

Even though she was a professional dancer, Cindy McDonald chose her husband’s hobby of Thoroughbred racing for the backdrop of her UnBridled Series

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.

I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!

In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.

To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com

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Thoroughbreds: My Backdrop, Guest Post by Author Cindy McDonald

Over the past twenty years or so, my life has been marinated in horses. I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on a forty-five acre Thoroughbred farm. My daughters and I spend many years showing horses on the Quarter Horse circuit, traveling all summer long from one horse show to the next, including the All American Quarter Horse Congress that is held each year in the fall in Columbus, Ohio.

Even though she was a professional dancer, Cindy McDonald chose her husband's hobby of Thoroughbred racing for the backdrop of her UnBridled Series

Even though she was a professional dancer, Cindy McDonald chose her husband’s hobby of Thoroughbred racing for the backdrop of her UnBridled Series

My husband feeds his hobby by racing our Thoroughbreds at Mountaineer Racetrack and Presque Isle Downs. Ahhh, the backside of a racetrack—now that’s where you will find a collection of characters that is an author’s dream! It is a lifestyle that few witness and even fewer understand.

The backside (the stable area) is a community. Believe me, everyone knows everyone’s business and if you’re a newbie, it won’t be long until they know everything about you—they make it their business. The people of the backside are always waiting for that one special horse that will send them over the top to some fantasy of fortunes that is always one length, or one race beyond their reach. Likewise, there are those who have the means and the horses that keep them head and shoulders above the rest, putting them on a higher social ladder than those who do not. However, the two groups meet on a nightly basis at the starting gate, and that is where it becomes Unbridled.

My husband and I don’t make our living with the horses. They are a hobby, a habit, an addiction—whatever you’d like to call it. That said I’ve spent a lot of time on the backside with the exercise riders, jockeys, and fellow trainers. I’ve watched them diligently for years. The deals, the lies, the scandals, and yes the drugs. My husband calls those who use the drugs “cheaters” and rightly so. Some of the cheaters are more cunning than others.
In 2005 I sat down at my computer and began writing a TV drama call Unbridled. I wanted to bring this lifestyle to the forefront because there was nothing on television quite like it. But I knew that horses and horse racing was a mystery to most of the public. People may not be interested in watching something that they know nothing about. So what is it that television viewers know all about? You got it–murder, suspense, and relationships.

So with the racetrack and a beautiful sprawling Thoroughbred farm called Westwood as my backdrop, the Unbridled scripts took form.

Against the Ropes was released June 1. Click on Book Cover to Purchase on Amazon.

Against the Ropes was released June 1. Click on Book Cover to Purchase on Amazon.

I created a family known as the Wests who were the proprietors of Westwood. The West are wealthy, but they are fair and decent people. I was tired of the shows where there were no redeeming qualities in the characters. No, this ain’t Little House on the Prairie folks, and my characters are far from perfect, but at the end of each show there was a message.

Hokay, it was a bust. While I had many lookers, including Warner Brothers, the show simply didn’t sell. One of my Hollywood script readers said to me, “Cindy don’t be stupid, make this into a book series.” And so I did.

Each of the Unbridled books feature graceful Thoroughbreds—they are not always the main part of the story, but they are always ever present. And yes, some of the situations that the characters get into are actual events that we have experienced at the racetrack—great exaggerated upon of course. For example, I’ve never been murdered.

The first book of the Unbridled Series, Deadly.com introduces the West family, and the farm, and the fact that online romances can be a real killer!

The second book, Hot Coco, is a romantic comedy. Coco Beardmore brings her crazy out-of-control horses to Westwood. The woman is a total train wreck—a fun read.

The third book, Dangerous Deception, is about betrayal. An aged jockey is asked to take an easier position at Westwood. He becomes enraged and entangled in a kidnapping scheme that turns deadly. This book features a secondary storyline with a Quarter Horse rather than a Thoroughbred.

On June 1st the fourth book was released. Against the Ropes features the West’s good-hearted farm manager, Punch. When Punch helps a down-on-his-luck fighter, he begins to question his good intentions, especially when the fighter puts the people that Punch loves against the ropes, and at the very edge of disaster.
So there you have it, a book series filled with murder, suspense, relationships, and graceful Thoroughbreds as they dash hell-bent-for-leather across the finish line—hey, what else could you ask for?

Against the Ropes

NO GOOD DEED SHALL GO UNPUNISHED!

When the West’s good-hearted farm manager, Punch McMinn, stumbles upon Eugene Strom, a down-on-his-luck fighter threatening to jump from an old bridge, Punch takes him under his wing and convinces the patriarch of Westwood Thoroughbred Farm, Eric West, to give him a job.

But when the gun-toting mob shows up at Westwood, it’s quite obvious that good ol’ Eugene is hiding a secret—a big one. Punch finds himself questioning his good intentions when the ex-fighter puts the people he loves against the ropes—and at the edge of disaster.

What Reviewers Are Saying About Cindy McDonald’s Unbridled Series:

SPELLBOUND!

Wow!! I could not put this book down. This is the first book in the Unbridled series. From the first chapter I knew this series is a keeper. I am spellbound by Cindy McDonald’s story telling and the twist and blind curves this story takes you on. This book really makes you question who you are chatting with online and question our justice system. It’s wise to remember things are not always what they appear. 

Reviewer: Wanted:Readers blog for Deadly.com

FUNNY AND HEART WARMING

Hot Coco is not just a steamy romance novel – but is funny, and heart warming, and really touches the heart.  I love that this story takes place on a Thoroughbred farm.  I love horses!  I love Cindy McDonald’s writing style which is fast, easy, and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  The characters are believable and totally relatable.  This book is the second book in the series.  I haven’t read the first book, but Hot Coco was good as a stand-alone.  I plan to download the first book in the series – and anything else Cindy McDonald puts out.

Reviewer: Jennifer Golub, Waiting for Sunday to Drown for Hot Coco

PLOT CHARGED WITH SUSPENSE AND DANGER!

Only author Cindy McDonald can deliver a plot so charged and filled with suspense, danger, and surprises to the West family. Dangerous Deception will keep you glued in your saddle until you cross the finish line or read the last page!

Reviewer: Fran Lewis, Review for Dangerous Deception

For more information about Cindy McDonald, visit her website at http://www.cindymcwriter.com/

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Fasten Your Seatbelts! The Blast from the Past Tour is Blasting Off!

Today marks the launch of–

Blast from the Past Tour

Click on Banner for the latest tour schedule on Lauren Carr’s Website.

When I announced that I was scheduling my latest book tour, a friend asked me a question that I viewed at the time as unusual: “What is a virtual book tour?”

“Oh,” I replied, “it is the only way for an author to do a book tour nowadays! It is all online. No gassing up the car. No driving around with your book in the trunk. No hotels. You just go from blog to blog and reviewer to reviewer in the comfort of your own home, with your feet up in your comfortable slippers, having a bad hair day–why you can even meet your readers completely naked if you feel like it and they’ll never know!”

I love touring this way. I guarantee that we’ll all have fun on the Blast from the Past Book Tour. The launch of Blast from the Past has already been an exciting venture. For the first three weeks after it’s release on January 10, Blast from the Past was ranked consistently in the top 100-books and ebooks on Amazon under mystery/thrillers, in the category of police procedurals and has been receiving rave reviews!

What’s that? You don’t know about Blast from the Past? Well, let me tell you about my latest mystery.

Blast from the Past is Lauren Carr's fourth book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. Click on cover to download from Amazon.

Blast from the Past is Lauren Carr’s fourth book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries.
Click on cover to download from Amazon.

In Blast from the Past, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town of Spencer, Maryland, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

In this fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, readers learn more about Archie Monday’s past in a flash—as in a gun fight when the syndicate comes to town. Readers love to be surprised and in Blast from the Past they are going to be surprised to discover the secret of Archie Monday’s past, which threatens her and Mac’s future.

Blast from the Past also takes the Mac Faraday Mysteries to a new level as his relationship with Archie Monday moves onto a whole new level. Readers have been clamoring for Mac and Archie to get together for three books. In Blast from the Past, they’re relationship is cemented, if they live to make it happen.

What about Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s canine inheritance—the only German shepherd to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army? Well, it’s not a Mac Faraday Mystery without Gnarly. Let’s just say Gnarly kicks things up a notch in his own way.

I’ll be stopping at twenty sites in six weeks. check out the schedule. We will have book giveaways, reviews, and guest posts galore–including one written from Gnarly’s point of view.

Still wondering about this Blast from the Past? How about a free sample then:

Blast from the Past – Excerpt

Spencer, Maryland – Deep Creek Lake – Present Day

“Gnarly, it’s time for to go to your appointment.”

Lovely in her soft grey Chanel suit, rose-colored blouse, and stylish pumps, Archie Monday, assistant to the late Robin Spencer, hurried up the stairs to the second floor of Spencer Manor and down the hallway to the master suite.  The rose leather clutch bag under her arm was a perfect match for the fedora she wore over her pixie-styled blonde hair.

“Gnarly, are you in here?” She threw open the double doors to find the German shepherd sitting in the suite’s bathroom doorway. “There you are. It’s time to go.” She gestured for the dog to come to her.

Instead of obeying his favorite human, Gnarly whined and turned his attention back to the happenings inside the other room.

“Go where?” Mac Faraday called out to her from the bathroom.

She crossed the width of the suite to peer in at him. The sight that greeted her wasn’t what she had expected from the son of Robin Spencer, whose roots were as blue-blood as they come.

The clichéd appearance of a wealthy man calls for him to be tall, dark, and handsome—maybe ruggedly handsome—and at the very least, well-groomed. A man of wealth is best able to achieve this requirement by hiring others—like plumbers—to do the dirty work.

Two years after his inheritance allowed him to retire from his career as a homicide detective, Mac Faraday had chosen to ignore that rule.

His middle-class upbringing had a different rule: If you can do it yourself—no matter how dirty the job—it’s a waste of money to hire someone else to do it for you.

Determination had drawn Mac’s handsome face into a scowl. His blue eyes were narrowed into slits focused on the toilet in which he was plunging away. Water splashed upwards to spill over the sides and drenched the lower half of his sweatpants down to his bare feet.

Even in this less than glamorous setting, Archie did find his arm and chest muscles, bulging from the workout, appealing. When Mac yanked the plunger up from out of the toilet, in the process splattering the water across his firm stomach and down the front of his pants, she reconsidered that assessment. Maybe not that appealing after all. She asked, “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like?”

“Why?”

“It’s stopped up.” He shook the dripping plunger in Gnarly’s direction. “And I have a feeling I know who did it.”

Uttering a whine, Gnarly moved to hide behind Archie’s legs.

She jumped to the shepherd’s defense. “Why are you blaming Gnarly? He doesn’t use the toilet. You’re the only one who uses this toilet.”

“You’ve used it.” Mac reminded her of her frequent nights spent with him in the master suite. “Maybe I should blame you.”

She folded her arms across her bosom. “I wouldn’t go there if I were you.”

“That’s why I’m blaming Gnarly.” He again pointed the plunger at the dog. “Look at him. Do you see that guilty expression on his face? He’s done something, and I suspect it has to do with this toilet.”

“Even if he did drop something into it, how did he flush it?” She giggled. “Mac, he’s a dog.”

The phone on the bed stand rang before Mac could come up with a response. “Answer that, will you?” He returned to his plunging.

“I need to take Gnarly to the groomer,” she called in to him while trotting to the king-sized bed that they had been sharing.

Mac Faraday had inherited the mansion from Robin Spencer, who, as an unwed teenager, had given him up at birth. However, his late mother had stipulated that her research assistant and editor, Archie Monday, was permitted to live in the stone guest cottage tucked away in the rose garden for as long as she wanted.

The beautiful green-eyed blonde had come with the house, and Mac Faraday was in no hurry for her to move out … nor was she in any hurry to leave.

Spencer’s police chief David O’Callaghan didn’t sound his usual jovial self when Archie answered the phone. After a quick hello, he asked for Mac.

“David, you sound terrible,” she observed.

“My weekend’s been shot,” he replied. “One of my cruisers was stolen last night.”

“Are you serious?”

Mac came into the bathroom doorway. “What’s wrong?”

She told him, “One of David’s police cruisers got stolen.”

David told her the reason for his call. “Tell Mac that I’m going to miss the game this afternoon. I need to fill out a ton of reports and find out how someone was able to break into our garage to steal a police cruiser.” He added, “Our guys are going to be the laughing stock of the state for this.”

In Archie’s other ear, Mac was asking, “Does he need any help finding the scum who stole it?”

“It was probably some bored teenagers pulling a prank,” she told them both.

“Committing a felony doesn’t make for a very good prank,” they told her in unison.

Seeing the time on the alarm clock on the bed stand, she announced, “Gnarly and I are late.” She handed the phone to Mac.

“Where are you taking Gnarly?” he asked her.

“To the groomer,” she said. “It’s the first Saturday of the month.”

“What does that have to do with it?”

“Mac?” David called to him from the phone.

“Gnarly has a standing appointment for the first Saturday of the month,” she said with her hands on her hips. “Ten-thirty with Misty. He gets the works.”

“What’s ‘the works’?”

“Mac, are you there?” David asked him.

Archie ticked off each item on her fingers. “Shampoo, deep conditioner, teeth cleaning, toenails clipped, aromatherapy—they’re having a special today on strawberries and champagne—and—and this is Gnarly’s favorite—a deep body massage.”

Gnarly pawed at her hand.

“For a dog?” Mac’s voice went up in pitch.

“Dogs need pampering, too.”

“How much is all this going to cost?” Mac asked.

“Only two-hundred and twenty-five dollars.”

“Only two hundred and twenty-five dollars?” Mac objected. “I don’t spend that much a year on my own hair, and I’m a human.”

“And you look like it.” She kissed him. “I have to go. Misty is very popular. She will only hold Gnarly’s appointment for ten minutes. Once I was late, and she gave his appointment to a chow. Gnarly was in a snit the whole next week until Misty was able to fit him in.”

Gnarly uttered a whine mixed with a bark before charging down the stairs. Archie tucked her handbag under her arm and hurried after him.

With a shake of his head, Mac sat down onto the bed and brought the phone to his ear. “Dave …” All he heard from the other end of the line was a dial tone.

* * * * *

Gnarly loved riding in Archie’s royal blue Escalade. Mac would always order him to the back seat, which the German shepherd would ignore. Not so with Archie. When riding with his favorite lady, he was invited to ride shotgun in the front passenger seat and stick his head up through the sun roof when the feeling struck him to do so.

After climbing into the SUV, Archie noticed that the bangs of her shortly cropped blonde hair were curling funnily. That would not look good at the book club luncheon at the Spencer Inn, for which she was already running late. While the automatic garage door went up, she licked her fingertips and finger combed it.

Gnarly pawed at her arm to urge her to get moving.

“Sorry, Gnarl, I can fix them later at the Inn.” She put the car into gear and backed out of the garage, which housed Mac’s black SUV and red Dodge Viper. The last stall was still home to Robin Spencer’s yellow classic 1934 Bentley Park Ward convertible, which the late author had rarely driven. Mac had yet to drive it. He was afraid of wrecking it.

In the heart of Maryland, the cedar and stone home, known as Spencer Manor, rested at the end of the most expensive piece of real estate in the resort area of Deep Creek Lake. The peninsula housed a half-dozen lake houses that grew in size and grandeur along the stretch of Spencer Court. The road ended at the stone pillars marking the multi-million dollar estate that had been the birthplace and home of the late Robin Spencer, one of the world’s most famous authors.

Along the stretch of Spencer Point, Archie waved to the Schweitzers, who lived in the last house before crossing over the bridge, and then turned right onto Spencer Lane, which took her around the lakeshore. She noticed the Spencer police cruiser fall in behind her after she made the turn.

With her eye on the speedometer, she eased her foot on the gas to stay under forty-five miles per hour. With the other eye, she glanced at the black and gold SUV through the rearview mirror. She squinted in an effort to see who was driving.

It wasn’t Deputy Chief Art Bogart. He had his own cruiser. David was still at the station. Any of the dozen officers on the police force would have waved to her when she drove past.

I have a bad feeling about this… who’s that in the passenger seat?

The alarm inside her head kicked up the tempo a notch. The Spencer police department did not operate in teams. The force was too small. Each officer had his own cruiser and patrolled alone. If backup was needed in the small resort town, another officer would be only a few minutes away.

Something’s not right—not right at all.

The blue lights flashed on in the cruiser behind her.

“We have company, Gnarly.” She eased her SUV over to the side of the road. Through the trees on the right, she could see that the lake was tranquil. Most of the residents of Spencer were still waking up and starting their day. Across the road, the woods and trails led up the mountain on which rested the Spencer Inn, another part of Mac Faraday’s inheritance.

In her side and rearview mirror, Archie watched the two men with silver police shields pinned to their uniforms, dark glasses, and hats, get out of the cruiser. She could see by the fit of their shirts that they were wearing amour vests.

Gnarly looked over his shoulder and growled.

“Easy, Gnarly.”

While the driver approached Archie’s side, his partner came up along the rear passenger side. They were both wearing utility belts with guns, batons, and radios.

With her right hand, Archie reached into her clutch bag that she always kept tucked in between her seat and the hand break.

The driver reached around behind his back.

“Down, Gnarly.”

Gnarly lay down in the seat.

When she saw the butt of the gun come out from behind his back, Archie, her eyes on the target in her side rearview mirror, fired three shots from her pink handgun, engraved with The Pink Lady across the muzzle, over her left shoulder. The first shot took out the rear driver’s side window before ripping through the gun man’s neck. The other two went through his head before he hit the ground.

In one movement, Archie threw her right arm around to fire out the rear window at the partner who only managed to get one shot before she hit him in the lower neck. Her second shot went through his head.

The world seemed to stop.

Breathing hard, she clutched the gun and stared in the rearview mirror for any sign that they were still alive and would try again.

The next thing she was aware of was Gnarly clawing at her. When she didn’t respond, he licked her face. She had no idea of how long she had been sitting there.

“Oh, my!” She heard someone yell.

Archie opened up the car door and stepped out.

A car filled with tourists had driven up to the scene. Seeing the woman in a Chanel suit holding a pink handgun and standing over two dead police officers next to a cruiser that still had its blue lights on, they immediately became hysterical. The tires burned leather on the road when the car sped away.

After checking out the two men, Gnarly, assured that they were dead, came back to sit in front of Archie. His big brown eyes were questioning. What just happened here?

Archie knelt down and took the paw he offered her. “Well, Gnarly, it’s a long story.”

Now are you onboard for the tour? Then fasten your seatbelts! We’re blasting off! See you at the next stop at: Another Writer’s Life: http://ascamacho.blogspot.com/

About the Author:

Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren CarrAuthor, PublisherClick on pic to visit website

Lauren Carr
Author, Publisher
Click on pic to visit website

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@comcast.net

Website: http://acornbookservices.com/

http://mysterylady.net/

Blog: Literary Wealth: https://literarywealth.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991

Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries

Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/LoversInCrimeMysteries?ref=ts&fref=ts

Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/AcornBookServices?ref=hl

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

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Crossing the Line: Guest Post by Cindy McDonald

 

When writing romantic scenes where does one draw the line? E.L. James certainly took those boundaries to another level and even the most timid romance readers were picking up her books and diving in. The critics went nuts, but hey ya know what? Everyone, yes everyone, was reading the Fifty Shades trilogy.

I love a well written love scene, and I make a concerted effort to read a lot of them. Why? Because when I write a hot scene I want it to be hot. I don’t want it to fall flat, and for the reader to roll their eyes with a grumbling “Eh…” tumbling from their lips. But not everyone is comfortable writing the kind of scenes like that of Christian Grey’s “playroom”. As for me, I find myself walking a very vigilant line. Let me explain…

When I published my first book, Deadly.Com, I informed my husband over dinner one evening that there were a few “suggestive” scenes within the pages. He stopped with his fork almost to his mouth, looked at me over his glasses, and said, “What do you mean by suggestive?”  Uh, oh, I could see this was going to be a problem. You see my husband and his family are an extremely conservative group of people, and I could see in my husband’s face that he didn’t want to have to explain to his family that his wife was writing dirty books. In fact after Deadly.Com was published and the family read my book, they have never mentioned my writing or my books again. It is sort of a taboo subject at family gatherings. Hmmmm.

Hot Coco is the send book in Cindy's Unbridled series

Hot Coco is the send book in Cindy’s Unbridled series. Click on Cover to buy on Amazon.

Okay, so while I was writing my second book, Hot Coco, my husband decided to broach the very sensitive subject over breakfast on the deck one morning.  He very casually said, “I hope you’re keeping those suggestive scenes in check. I mean you spent twenty-six years as Miss Cindy, the dance teacher in this community. People entrusted their children to you. What would they think?”

Wow! That put a whole new spin on writing romance—which is exactly what Hot Coco is, a romantic comedy. And yes, there are suggestive scenes in the book. I was taken aback. Should I concern myself as to the position that I used to hold in the community? Is this a problem for romance writers in general? Are their reputations in the community tarnished because they write books with sex or suggestive moments? I had never thought about it before. When E.L. James’s neighbors see her in the grocery store, are they wondering if her playroom is red? Are they speculating as to how many different kinds of whips she might own? Yikes!

You may be asking yourself, what is this writer going to do? Is she going to allow her in-laws and her former occupation to dictate what she writes? Nope.

Dangerous Deception

Dangerous Deception is the third book in Cindy’s Unbridled series. Click on Cover to purchase on Amazon.

 

When I posted the excerpt from the third book of my series, Dangerous Deception, on my website I featured a very sensual scene between Ava and Lugowski. As a matter of fact, it is also the featured excerpt announcing the book at the end of Hot Coco as well. That said my scenes are of a sultry suggestive nature. I have never written an in-your-face sex scene naming body parts or taking the reader into the steamy tangle of desire between the sheets with the characters—yet.

My Unbridled series has been mainly murder/suspense storylines with one romantic comedy thrown into the mix for fun; however I have an ardent desire to write a romantic suspense series, and have decided to do so in 2013. I have some decisions to make as I write my new series. Will I cross that line to pen those hot sex scenes? Or shall I protect my sweet Miss Cindy dance teacher reputation and remain steadfast on this side of the line: very sensual yet strictly suggestive scenes?

I think through it all an author has to find his/her own comfort level, without becoming too comfortable, too complacent in one’s creativity. I truly admire writers like E.L. James, Cindy Gerard, and Maya Banks. They are able to toss all inhibitions aside and write smokin’ hot romance. I am toeing the line. My eyes are fixated on it like I am waiting for someone to shoot a pistol into the air so that I can leap forward. Can I cross it? Do I want to cross it?

 

Contacting Cindy McDonald:

website: www.cindymcwriter.com

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/cindy.s.mcdonald.3

Twitter handle: @cindymcdonald7

goodreads: https://www.facebook.com/#!/cindy.s.mcdonald.3

 

 

 

 

 

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