Posts Tagged With: series

It Is Now – OPEN SEASON FOR MURDER

“Robin, it’s me, Ashton.”
Spring is in the air. In Deep Creek Lake, the burst of blossoms on the trees has the effect of a starting pistol in the race to get the resort area ready in time for the seasonal residents return to Spencer, Maryland.

Lauren Carr's 10th best-selling Mac Faraday Mystery is already getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Click on the book cover to download now at Amazon!

Lauren Carr’s 10th best-selling Mac Faraday Mystery is already getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Click on the book cover to download now at Amazon!

In this latest Mac Faraday Mystery, Lauren Carr once again brings murder to the Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday’s five-star resort located at the top of Spencer Mountain. “I have to confess,” the author says, “personally I would wonder how the Spencer Inn hangs on to their five-star rating with all the murders that happen there.”
Obviously, the high society guests in her book aren’t worried about the Spencer Inn’s mortality rate because they’re dying to attend the Diablo Ball, which is hosted by Mac Faraday’s new bride, Archie Monday. An annual charitable event to benefit the Humane Society, the Diablo Ball used to be hosted by Robin Spencer, Mac’s late mother, and would kick-off Deep Creek Lake’s summer season.
“Naturally, in my book, the Diablo Ball truly is an event to die for,” Lauren says. As readers have come to expect from every Lauren Carr mystery, Open Season for Murder delivers a punch even before the party invitations are put in the mail when uninvited guests begin RSVP’ing.
Intrigued by a mysterious phone call, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday can’t resist diving into the cold case of Ashton Piedmont, a young woman who had disappeared into the moonlit waters of Deep Creek Lake five years earlier.
Mac quickly discovers that not only is the Diablo Ball drawing in A-listers from across the country, but someone is going to a lot of trouble to gather together suspects and witnesses connected to Ashton Piedmont and each one seems to have their own agenda for coming to Spencer.
When murder strikes, it is up to Mac Faraday and his friends to find the killer … or is it killers? When it comes to murder in Deep Creek Lake, you never know.
But readers do know this, if it’s happening at the Spencer Inn, you know it’s an event to die for!

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries. Her upcoming new series, The Thorny Rose Mysteries will be released September 1, 2015. Stay tuned for news about Kill and Run!

the first installment in Lauren Carr's upcoming series, Kill and Run is scheduled for release September 1.

The first installment in Lauren Carr’s upcoming series, Kill and Run is scheduled for release September 1.

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.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.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

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BookReview: Real Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) by Lauren Carr

In case you’ve missed it, this month the latest Lovers in Crime Mystery, Real Murder, was released and it is already a hit with both reviewers and readers. Still hesitant? Well check out ABookVacation’s review.

{ARC Review} Real Murder by Lauren Carr.

via {ARC Review} Real Murder by Lauren Carr.

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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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MYSTERY—SUSPENSE, SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE??

Today’s guest post is from Cindy McDonald, author of the Unbridled series, and also the First Force series. Cindy is a romance-suspense or suspense-romance author. Get that? She is not a mystery author. There is a difference. Read below to find out what that is:

I’ve had several readers and reviewers post that they love my mysteries. Ahhh, but most recently I had a reviewer complain that she was upset because there was no mystery involved in my latest book, Shady Deals, and there’s a darn good reason for that: I simply do not write mysteries! While some readers and reviewers put my Unbridled books in the mystery category, the simple fact is that I write murder suspense and romantic suspense novels.

Shady Deals is Cindy's latest installment in the Unbridled series, filled with romance & suspense. Click on book cover to visit on Amazon.

Shady Deals is Cindy’s latest installment in the Unbridled series, filled with romance & suspense. Click on book cover to visit on Amazon.

A mystery writer plays their cards close to their chest. Bit by bit the mystery writer will slowly feed you clues as to who killed the poor widow who lives in the Victorian mansion on the hill. During the course of the story they will throw suspicion in several directions and perhaps throw a few twists into the plot to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end as to whodunit. A very good mystery writer will surprise you.

A suspense writer holds nothing back. The suspense writer tells you straight up that the handsome, young man whose car broke down during the storm and showed up at the poor widow’s door asking to use her phone killed her. But now will her beautiful, recently divorced daughter be next?

A suspense writer will toy with your emotions and your apprehensions by leading you to believe that perhaps you—the reader—is mistaken. Perhaps the young man isn’t the murderer, and maybe someone else killed her. A suspense writer will send cold-hard fear crawling up your skin as the murderer charms the widow’s daughter. When is he going to kill her? How is he going to kill her? Will the police officer that lives down the street figure out what is going on and come to her rescue before it’s too late? If you can’t put the book down because you simply can’t wait to find out the answers, then the suspense writer has done their job well.

Cindy McDonald's new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

In a mystery book there is always the telling moment when all the characters, which of course includes the protagonist detective and the suspects, all gather together to put all the clues together and reveal the murderer.

In a suspense book the action comes to a climax where people’s lives are hanging on the edge, requiring the protagonist to hatch a dodgy rescue, risking everything to save the widow’s daughter.

It all seems extremely basic, doesn’t it? So what’s all the confusion about?

Stick with me, because this is the important part:

When looking for my books on amazon, you may very well find them under the category of mystery. Why? Because when amazon categorizes books many are lumped together in one category. Mystery and suspense books are put together in a mystery/suspense/thriller category, and then the book will be broken down from there into sub-categories like: romance, police procedural, cozy mystery, romantic suspense, murder suspense etc. Yes! My books could possibly be listed in the same category as Stephen King’s thrillers regardless of the fact that they are not the same kind or genre as Mr. King’s books.

In other words my romantic suspense and murder suspense books can show up in several categories, including mystery, even though it is not a mystery at all.

Whew! Did I clear that all up for you? I suppose the point is, the next time you shop for a mystery on amazon, you may very well get suspense or suspense that teases your sense of deductive reasoning with a mystery.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy's website.

Author Cindy McDonald.
Click on pic to visit Cindy’s website.

About the Author:

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.

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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It’s Time to Get Into the Crossfire!

It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs–everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack’s world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for.

Cindy McDonald's new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire is coming Nov 1!

Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force is a romance-suspense.Click on book cover to order on Amazon!

Into the Crossfire the first book of the Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force. Jack Haliday made his first appearance on Cindy McDonald’s computer screen while writing the third book from her Unbridled Series, Dangerous Deception. “I enjoyed writing the character so much that he returned to Unbridled to make a brief visit in the fourth book, Against the Ropes,” Cindy says. Unable to resist, Cindy is allowing him to ride along one more time in her fifth book, Shady Deals, which will be released January 2014. “What can I say?” Cindy shrugs, “I simply fell in love and decided to create a series that featured the handsome Navy SEAL, Jack Haliday.”

Some of the characters from the Unbridled Series make “guest appearances” in Into the Crossfire to help usher Jack Haliday into the new series: Captain Patrick Lutz, Lieutenant Carl Lugowski, and Kate West—referred to as “the blonde” in chapter one of this book.

The cover photograph of Stuart Reardon was taken by renowned New York photographer, Paul Reitz. “I first saw photos of the professional rugby player turned model on Facebook,” Cindy recalls. “When Stuart posted this particular picture on his FB page, I immediately thought that it was perfect for the cover of Into the Crossfire. I contacted Paul to contract the photograph of the overtly handsome Brit—see, social networking can pay off!”

Stuart’s lovely girlfriend, Emma Hayes, is featured in the book trailer for Into the Crossfire. The trailer can be viewed on Cindy McDonald’s website, www.cindymcwriter.com. Her website also features excerpts from future First Force books as well as the Unbridled Series.

Literary Wealth Review

Jack Haliday has a score to settle–a big one!

Cindy McDonald introduces her new series (First Force) with Into the Crossfire. For romantic-suspense fans, there’s nothing not to love about this book. We have Jack Haliday, a handsome (just look at the cover!) ex-Navy Seal, now undercover cop. He’s got the perfect life: beautiful loving wife and adorable curly headed daughter.

Everything is perfect until Jack’s past comes back with a fiery vengeance to rip it all away.

Four years ago, just as Jack was about to bust the homicidal leader of a bad-ass motorcycle gang after six months of undercover work, he was forced to blow his cover in a big way to save the life of another detective. Gunner escaped.

It’s taken four year, but Gunner tracks Jack down to turn his world inside out by killing his wife and destroying his idealistic home.

That is when Jack discovers the secret world of his kindly (yet mysterious) next door neighbor Walt, who is the leader of the team of top operatives known as First Force.

In her new series, Cindy McDonald takes the reader on a roller coaster of suspense and romance. The First Force team is made up of wonderful characters who are a wonderful mixture of compassion (the team’s beautiful doctor Raine, who has a sorrowful past), strength, and even humor: like a huge, humorless pilot named Stuart Little, who takes exception to jokes about his name.

When Jack’s world crumbles, Walt and his team swoop in to save his life and go to work to bring justice as only they can do, even when the life of one of their own is put in the balance.

I highly recommend this book for readers looking for a thrilling ride of suspense and romance.

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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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Hanging off a Cliff: To End in a Cliffhanger or Not to End in a Cliffhanger

As the publisher of Acorn Book Services, I get a lot of requests from new authors for editorial reviews. This is great. I love to read work by new writers who are eager to see their work in print and e-book. I feel like a prospector looking for gold and I have been lucky in having discovered some literary gems. You will discover them, too, in the upcoming months.

When I first started looking at new manuscripts, I also made a few other discoveries about the direction that books and authors are taking: Many writers have developed a big attraction toward ending their books with cliffhangers. It’s like an epidemic in literature. Some will tie up almost all of the lose ends and leave only one small dangling as a seemingly tasty lure to move on to the next book. Others will leave a bigger piece of business left undone.

One manuscript submitted to me ended literally in the middle of the climax. When I e-mailed the writer to ask where the last chapter was, he replied that the ending was in the next book. In other words, readers were going to have to buy the next book to find out how the first book ended.

Blast from the Past is Lauren Carr's fourth book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. Even though her series contains continuing characters, each book is a stand-alone and none end with a cliffhanger.

Blast from the Past is Lauren Carr’s 4th book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. Even though her series contains continuing characters, each book is a stand-alone & none end with a cliffhanger. (Click on Book Cover to Purchase on Amazon)

As a reader, my gut reaction when I read a book with a cliffhanger is to throw it across the room, which is risky nowadays because I don’t think Kindles like to get tossed across the room. I get mad when I watch a program on-demand and it ends with “to be continued”. What if I can’t find the next show? (which has happened) I also don’t watch continuing dramas on television. Will the big couple get together forever or will they not? End it all already. I get equally mad when I read a manuscript or a published book that ends without everything being tied up, even if it is a series.

Many budding authors who I have talked to about this epidemic have the belief that by ending a book in a cliffhanger, they are going to have a built-in, guaranteed, audience for their next book. The author who comes to their mind is J.K. Rowling. When the next to the last Harry Potter book ended in a cliffhanger, readers were waiting in lines for days for the next (which would be the last) book when it was released a year later.

It is now time to replace new cliffhanging authors’ fantasy with the reality: J.K. Rowling and other big name authors who have ended their best sellers by going over a cliff have two safety nets that new authors don’t have: An big  audience faithful enough to hang onto the cliff until the next book comes out and a huge media machine that won’t let the readers forget.

Forget? Forget what? Forget about that cliff they went over.

Maybe it’s because I’m over fifty and I have a lot of things going on, but more than once, I have read a book that ended in a cliffhanger and by a couple of days later, after I get over my mad, I forget about it. So, when the next book with the ending is available months or a year later, I have forgotten and really don’t care anymore to get the book to find out how it ended. As a matter of fact, when reminded that this book is the next one in the series that left me hanging, my mad about being left hanging is renewed.

Getting your readers mad at you for leaving them hanging is not a good thing.

Many authors are now writing book series or trilogies. Since it is a series, that means the story will need to continue on to the next book. I get that. However, there is also the obligation of the author to leave the reader feeling satisfied. You can build an audience to the point of having readers waiting with baited breath for your next book without taking them over a cliff.

Blast from the Past is the fourth book in my Mac Faraday series. It was released on January 10. Within less than a week of its release, it was in the top-100 on Amazon under the category of mystery/thrillers-police procedural. The lion’s share of buyers were fans of this series, which never ends with anything hanging. This is proof that you can develop a built-in audience without any cliffhangers.

Of course, I will admit that there are probably readers who are huge fans of cliffhangers and maybe, as an author, that is your desire. If so, here are a few things to consider and tips:

1) Do not end your first book in a cliffhanger.

Prove you are able to finish a book. If you end your first book in a cliffhanger, readers, reviewers, literary agents, publishers, will think you don’t know how to end a book. Literary Agents and commercial publishers will not consider a book from an unproven author that has no ending.

Consider this: J.K. Rowling did have an ending for the first Harry Potter book. She did not end with a cliffhanger until after she had won her audience. George Lucas literally started his famous Star Wars movies with Episode Four, which had a full ending.

2) Try to tie up as many of the lose ends as possible. The more loose ends, the less satisfied your reader is going to be.

In The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby, by H.L. Grandin, the author ends with a cliffhanger, however, he does end it in such a manner that a majority of issues pertaining to the title character are  taken care of and the reader feels as if the book is moving on to the next adventure.

3) If you are writing a series or trilogy that leaves readers hanging, have the follow up book written before you go about publishing the one with the cliffhanger.

People have short memories. Unless you have a multi-million dollar media machine behind you to keep your books in the forefront of readers minds, they are going to forget about your book and the cliffhanger.

Thank about it: Your book with the cliffhanger comes out in January. You are half-way through writing the next book. Say you are fast and finish in May. It goes into editing. You go to the beach during the summer. Maybe the book with the ending will come out next January–a year later. By then, your readers may have to re-read the first book to get up to speed with the next.

Or, worst case, you get hit by a truck and the book with the ending never comes out! In which case, your readers are left permanently hanging from the branch over the edge of the cliff.

Not a good way to have your readers remember you.

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,” mystery author Lauren Carr says. “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. “I do listen to readers,” Carr explains. “They have been clamoring for Mac and Archie to get together for three books.”

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

About the Author

Lauren Carr is 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.

Lauren Carr is currently scheduling her Blast from the Past Book Tour. For the schedule, or to book Lauren for your site, visit her website. Email Lauren at writerlaurencarr@gmail.com to get on her schedule.

Also receiving rave reviews, Dead on Ice, released September 1012, introduced a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second book in this series, Real Murder will be released Spring 2013.

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